Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Wide Shot

When I began reading garden blogs for inspiration I noticed a focus on single flowers and plants.  Although closeup photos are beautiful and useful for learning about specific plants, I felt a larger context is sometimes needed to appreciate those details in the garden.  Like an Impressionist painting, things change quite a bit when you take a step or two back.  Fortunately there were blogs like Digging with a good combination of each to guide me and provide just what I was looking for at the time.  One of my goals when I decided to jump in with my own garden blog in October 2011 was to mix in plenty of wide shots so readers could follow along to see just how the details fit within my landscape as a whole.

When Heather at Xericstyle began blogging in January of 2012 I noted right away that she is also a fan of the wide shot.  Her photos often show the big picture so essential for understanding her garden design projects, providing more of a "tour" than simply looking at closeups.  Heather, who lives just a few minutes from me in San Antonio, is beginning a new blogger's meme today and encouraging bloggers to post a wide shot of our gardens on the first of each month.  A meme is a designated day when bloggers link together and post on the same subject.  Heather has posted the wide shot of her garden here.

Since I already post a lot of views from the left or south side I selected a straight-on view of the house this morning.  I love the shadow patterns on the stone walls just as the sun peeks over the hill.



It's been very hot so most blooming plants are dormant and a few plants might even be toast as is typical for our long summer.  The use of plants that remain evergreen or "ever-silver" all year long makes a huge difference this time of year when many lawns are burned out.

Heather's yard looks great this week so take a look and bloggers can join the fun.

46 comments:

  1. I love your planting style and look forward to seeing how it changes over time.

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    1. This particular view is designed not to change much so it will be interesting to see if that's the case.

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  2. It's much easier to photograph a garden's individual plants, but it's more satisfying to capture the garden in full – or as full as possible. You made a priceless image of the wall with shadows – thoughtful and beautiful.

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    1. It's too bad I have to stand in the street early in the morning to see this view!

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  3. I so agree it's nice to see the close-ups, but I'm always wanting to see wide shots as well. Your house/garden look great!

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    1. The big picture is most helpful to those seeking inspiration.

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  4. Your oaks are so wonderful, they must really cool your house a lot in addition to looking so picturesque. The shadows are really neat, too. Do you get any oak moths like the ones I found entrancing in Monterey, California? I'm sure they were pests but in a campground setting, there were hundreds fluttering delightfully around the live oaks. I've been considering doing wide shots of my yard for my 20th anniversary.

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    1. We don't get the moths, our climate is different. The oaks in CA are amazing too.

      The trees do help keep the house cool, especially on the south and west.

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  5. I love this idea. I resort to close-ups so I can crop out the uglies that result from not enough time to weed, etc. Still, I intend to take up this challenge and let the chips fall where they may.

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    1. I know that's one reason many of us go with a narrow focus much of the time. Go ahead and show those weeds, we all have them!

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  6. Your front view looks great, Shirley! The trees add a sense that the house and garden have been there a long, long time.

    Thanks for the heads-up about Heather's meme, as well. I think it's a great idea and as I was recently thinking that I need to "come clean" with the big picture, I've taken the opportunity to join in.

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    1. The trees were here before the house which is common in our neighborhood.

      I enjoyed your photos, your view is amazing and the border is coming along well.

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  7. What Lee said on the wide views and light. I like live oaks even more now...didn't think that was possible. But I like the wide view as much...while most don't appear to share that over single plants or close-ups with me, some do.

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    1. Considering you named your business Quercus, I couldn't imagine you could find the live oak any more special.

      It's important to mix it up a bit in a blog.

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  8. Love this angle Shirley, and as you mentioned I don't think I've seen it before!

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    1. It's a view that doesn't include much of the new landscaping projects I often discuss.

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  9. Beautiful view of your garden! I love this meme and will join on the first of next month since I missed this one.

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    1. Look forward to seeing that, we don't see enough of your garden so it's nice to know you'll give us a glimpse.

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  10. Your garden is a lovely 'picture' Shirley! And you're right, individual and close up pics are good but sometimes you need overall shots to get the bigger on how plants relate to their surroundings.

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    1. It's especially good when total plant geeks also share the overall view now and then as you do.

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  11. Ya!!! YOU are my hero. I have been reading gardening blogs since they first appeared, and this has been one of my biggest pet peeves. For me, I could care less about what an individual flower looks like. It's pretty easy to find photos of individual flowers of any kind on the web. Instead, I have ALWAYS wanted to see what a blogger's yard looked like with that individual flower in context. The close-up photo is analogous to taking a close up photo of one's arm chair in the living room. I want to see the entire living room. I want to see how it is arranged. How does the arm chair look along with the artwork, couch, side tables, drapes etc. It just makes all of the difference in the world. Thank you! Oh, and your last photo is terrific.

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    1. The credit for getting this rolling goes to Heather of course. I enjoy all types of blogs and find there is plenty of room in the blogisphere for different approaches.

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  12. Love the wide shot of this side of your garden...those trees just mesmerize me.

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    1. The oaks were an important selling point and we will always consider them special.

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  13. What an amazing shot, Shirley. I think I may still be drooling. We were away this weekend... I saw it on my phone, but it did not do it justice. The shadows....and this shot! How have I never seen you do this shot before?! I look forward to seeing it more and more and more....
    Thanks so much for joining in, and promoting...and ....well...everything. SA garden bloggers unite! :)

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    1. It was my pleasure Heather!

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  14. I often take the wide shots of all gardens I visit. It shows it true. My own garden is so tiny, but I do show it wide most months.

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    1. Garden tour posts especially benefit from a mix of shots.

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  15. I'm a little shy about showing wide shots of my own garden--for various reasons. But I'm trying to move more in that direction--at least away from the house.
    The landscape shots are a little less intrusive (and less embarrassing) out in nature. I'm planning to join in the meme next month, too, if I can find a shot I feel comfortable with. I do think it's a great meme, though!

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    1. I can certainly understand some concerns about this and I do see many bloggers pointing the camera away from the house.

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    1. Look forward to seeing you join in Hoov.

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  17. Beautiful! Your landscaping is perfect for the setting. Love the grouping of Oak trees. You have a great mixture of plants.

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    1. That's another reason to do this, the analysis from other bloggers helps me see things anew.

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  18. My heart just skipped a beat at the sight of your "wide shot." So many textures!

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    1. Textures are so important, I should write about the variety in the garden.

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  19. Beautiful wide shot of your garden, Shirley.

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    1. Thank you Garden Girl, look forward to seeing yours too.

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  20. Great photo. Your garden looks better every day.

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    1. Posting this here has been most helpful with all the nice compliments. Quite amazing considering the record heat and dry summer.

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  21. Thanks for the shout-out, Shirley. You are right that including wide shots is key to understanding the layout of a garden and really "getting" it. I'd forgotten about Heather's meme, but I mean to join in this month, even though I'll be late.

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    1. I enjoyed seeing the wide shots of your garden Pam. So glad you could join in.

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  22. Love your front yard wide shot! Your whole garden is really fabulous.

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    1. At least the part I show on the blog. There are plenty of unfinished projects to get the whole garden in this kind of shape.

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  23. Shirley, in your picture of your driveway, there are some beautiful shrubs that are pink/purple. What are they?
    Debbie

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    1. The silvery shrubs are Texas Sage or Leucophyllum frutecans 'Silverado', There are also Saliva greggii which bloom deeper pink, almost red.

      Here's the most recent post on the driveway

      http://rockoakdeer.blogspot.com/2013/07/gardening-on-rocks-driveway-landscaping.html

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