Garden photography

Since I’ve got family nearby, I’ve visited Wakehurst Place in West Sussex a couple of times this year. It’s lovely; it combines an Elizabethan country house with extensive gardens and the Millennium Seedbank, the world’s largest seed conservation project. Earlier in the Autumn, the gardens featured an exhibition of photos from the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition. It runs until February, and it features some terrific work, especially the macros of seeds and flowers. The 2010 competition has come up, and I decided to enter two categories: garden views and plant portraits. You could enter four images in each category, so here’s a selection of the ones I went with:

Plant portraits

Stalk of Fire. An old photo that I rescued from a dusty folder on the hard disk to brighten up a dull winter day. Taken an August ago, in the gardens of one of South East London’s best days out, Eltham Palace.

Nature will find a way. Close up of an abandoned WW2 tank on Peleliu. I think it made a nice memorial; nature is reclaiming it. The full story on my trip to Peleliu is here.

Engine lichen. Another shot from Peleliu, this time of lichen-spotted machinery in the engine bay of an old landing craft.

Garden views

A path winds through the grounds of Wuhou temple in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, China.

Reflections of the garden in a cup of tea at the teahouse in Wenshu temple, Chengdu. The city’s temple teahouses are full of people reading the papers, chatting and playing cards and relaxing on rickety bamboo furniture over endlessly refilled cups of tea. As a tourist they’re a perfect experience; everything from the colours to the smells feels right. The only strange thing is that most of the Chinese there are old. The kids are all in KFC or Starbucks.

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