Garden Photo Contest Submissions

Washington Gardener magazine is having a garden photo contest.

Those of you who have stalkerish tendencies might remember me twittermocking Horticulture magazine for having an entry fee for their garden art competition. Washington Gardener has an entry fee, too, (only $10 for subscribers [e.g., me]), but I will not mock them. I have met Kathy Jentz, the editor, and she's a nice lady. I don't know the Horticulture people, so I feel completely free to scoff at the idea of paying to be in their garden photo contest.

I'm not inconsistent at all. Or, depending on the day, I am. "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds," as it is said. I, for some reason, thought it was Ben Franklin who said that, but the Internets tells me it was Ralph Waldo Emerson. They're pretty much the same person, right?

Anyway, on to the plant photos! These are my 10 submissions (including titles and descriptions) that I will be sending in to Washington Gardener--nine are in the "Small Wonders" category, and the tenth is in "Garden Creatures." "Small Wonders" includes close-ups of flowers, parts of plants, stuff like that. "Garden Creatures" includes, well, creatures in gardens. I thought it would be interesting to see what you readers think is a good photo, and why. I'm hoping to win, but it was a bit difficult to whittle down to these 10 from the thousands of photos I took in 2009! Almost half of them, unsurprisingly, were photographs of plants I grew at Mr. Yogato, but you'll read all about them in the captions. After worrying that titles would be part of judging, I was assured that the judges care only for the image. Be warned, however, I am a bit wonky today, so some of my descriptions are, well, rambling, adjectival, flowery, a bit overenthusiastic and metaphorical.

Let's start with the "Small Wonders" submissions.

Photo title: "Soybean Of The Morning"

Description: GerminatingEnvy” soybean (from Seed Savers Exchange) on my windowsill. Picture taken in early morning on February 7, 2009. These soybeans were the inspiration for the song “Soybean, I Love You” and the start of my blog, The Indoor Garden(er).

Photo title: "Blue Promise"

Description: With little else growing on March 27, 2009, at 4:12 PM, these Scilla siberica were a welcome and awesome sight. The cute, tiny, but striking flowers brightened the bleak landscape surrounding them, giving a hint of what was to come in the weeks ahead.

Photo title: "Fanning My Purple Passion"

Description: I love purple flowers. These Centaurea montana “Amythest In Snow” were stunning en masse at Garden District's outdoor store during the overcast day on April 11, 2009, at 10:40 AM. I liked this picture so much that I redesigned The Indoor Garden(er) blog to play off of the colours in the photo and used it prominently as my header background.

Photo title: "Stealing The Spotlight"

Description: These marigold flowers were some of the first plants introduced by me into the barren concrete planters in front of Mr. Yogato. They survived, if not prospered, but their mark on the garden could not be ignored on May 21, 2009, at 5:14 PM. This particular flower nigh shouted "Pay attention to me! Ignore the less-worthy flowers in the background (which doesn't deserve to have such beauty as myself anywhere near it until it gets a new coat of paint)."

Photo title: "Open For Beauty"

Description: This Datura moonflower was the year-round star of the show at the Mr. Yogato garden. With copious blooms, amazing resilience (until the drag queen incident and then a hard freeze), and a never-ending need for pruning, these dangerously beautiful (they're poisonous, dun dun DUN!) flowers brightened night-time visitors' enjoyment of their frozen yogurt. Pictured on May 22, 2009, at 10:53 PM.

Photo title: "Perniciously Pretty"

Description: This Persicaria perfoliata (also known as Polygonum perfoliata or Mile-A-Minute) is an unfortunate invasive plant in the Mid-Atlantic area. But I love it. I have to give it props for its tenacity and its vexatiousness. The stunning vibrant berries, the hints of red, and the rumours of its edibility make one think “Oh, this sounds like a delightful plant!”... That is, until one tries to harvest it and discovers its mean, prickly side! Pictured on June 19, 2009, at 2:50 PM.

Photo title: "Perfection"

Description: This Clematis was photographed on June 21, 2009, at 4:04 PM. This photo is what makes me want to buy a house so I can have a trellis and a yard. The only thing I can say about this flower is simply this: gorgeous.

Photo title: "Sunshine, Lollipops, Et Cetera"

Description: This is an “Evening Sun” sunflower, seed purchased from Seed Savers Exchange. Grown in the sidewalk concrete planter at Mr. Yogato, this is the only picture I have of this cheerful 6'-tall beast of a plant—others admired it so much, they decided they'd like to make use of it elsewhere, leaving behind only the stalk. The expressive flower and the exuberance of life behind it just makes me sing, and of course, I sing Lesley Gore's almost-oppressively-cheery song “Sunshine, Lollipops, And Rainbows.” Who couldn't, when faced with such unabashed planty glee in existence? Photographed on July 12, 2009, at 1:06 PM.

Photo title: "Overshadowed Radiance"

Description: This Ipomoae batatas (purple-leaf ornamental sweet potato) flower deserves not its fate—to have such beauty, but to be unnoticed and hidden by the leaves for which the plant is known and marketed. Living in the shadow of its less striking but more raucously attention-grabbing cousins, this flower may only be appreciated by those who relax and take a deeper look at the beauty underneath. Photographed on October 9, 2009, at 12:41 PM.

And now on to the one "Garden Creatures" submission.

Photo title: "What?"

Description: This cute innocent little deer was caught munching on a lawn at 10:53 PM on July 8, 2009, near the Naval Observatory. She fearlessly let me get amazingly close to her before scampering off.

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5 Responses to Garden Photo Contest Submissions

  1. I think my favorite from the set is the soybean (asymmetry is good! Plus, you know about my thing for light shining through leaves.), with the Clematis second.

  2. As shown I have to go with the Clematis first. How ever I would like to have seen the marigold picture cropped and enlarged to focus on the center but still a wonderful picture. Oh heck, I just like them all. :) G.

  3. I'm going to have to go with "Overshadowed Radiance." Love those blooms!

    What's even more snark worthy about that contest is that they "share" their customer list with other companies, so you have to opt out of that by writing a note on top of giving them an entry fee.


  4. I'm with Mr_subjunctive, loving the soybean shot. But they're all great, except the deer one. I dislike deer so much that I don't even like photos of them.

  5. Thanks for the comments! Others have told me they like the soybean and Clematis as well. Let's hope the judges do!

    I wish I had had more of an indoor focus in this submission, but at least half of the photographs are of plants I grew myself.

    I do love the sunlight partially obscured by things. My highly unused Flickr account has a photoset entitled "Sun-Through-Something-That-Partially-Obscures-It." There are many more photos than the ones I have there... Maybe I'll make a post devoted to that.

    I'm also working on doing some photography where the object of interest isn't directly in the middle of the photo. But I need a fancier camera.

    Maybe I can sell the TV Mr. Subjunctive said he'll buy for me and get a nice Nikon or Canon with lens for macro shots.


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