The most obvious place to find excellent subjects for garden flower photographs is, naturally, your own garden—if you are one of those green-digited folks who have accomplished a flourishing flower garden. Unfortunately, not all of us have the time, resources, or the requisite green-thumb required to create our own garden photography subjects. Or, maybe we have grown some gorgeous specimens, but we are ready for some variety—having re-framed a billion shots of each of our garden flowers. Not to worry—there are many other options available to find excellent gardens and flowers to photograph. Below is a list of ideas…
- Get to know your neighbors. Although you may not have the time or resources to grow a gorgeous garden yourself…your neighbor might. For that matter, friends and family might also have a photogenic yard just waiting for you to capture with your camera…Promise them their very own framed flower photograph as compensation for your intrusion into their private garden.
- Visit the Local Community Garden. Community gardens, although usually of the vegetable type, are a great place to find some of the more majestic and statuesque flowers such as Sunflowers and Dahlias (by the way… don’t forget vegetables…a bright colored cacophony of peppers and tomatoes can make excellent photo fodder). You may also find other flowers in among the vegetables such as nasturtiums or marigolds—often planted for pest control.
- How to Find Them. One easy way to find community gardens in your area is to simply type “community garden”—followed by your desired location—into your browser’s search-box. The link below is for a map I found by typing COMMUNITY GARDENS PORTLAND OREGON into the Google search-box. garden”—followed by your desired location—into your browser’s search-box. The link below is for a map I found by typing COMMUNITY GARDENS PORTLAND OREGON into the Google search-box.
- Nurseries. Nurseries provide an excellent place to obtain flower photographs in a pinch. The variety is excellent, and if you want flower photographs of something specific, this is the way to go. You won’t get the full garden experience, so use this option when you just want photographs…or maybe you need to pick up something for your garden after all…
- Home and Garden Shows. If you are looking for some great color and quantity, you may find a gem or two in this venue…along with some great landscape and nature-scape examples (or ideas…?). If you will miss being “out in the garden” this might not be the place for your outdoorsy nature, but if you are short on ideas, it could provide a great jumping off point for locating other possibilities. Check your local newspapers, garden clubs, and event centers for upcoming shows.
- Public Gardens. Public gardens offer an excellent opportunity to find subjects for your garden flower photography. They often have a fee, which may be nominal or more exorbitant, depending on the level and popularity of the garden. Public gardens are also usually themed—for example the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden or the Japanese Gardens in Portland, Oregon. Check with the garden to see if they have a student discount or if a Photographer’s Membership is available that may give you access during those magic-light-moments when the garden is closed to regular public access.
- How to Find Them. Check with your local parks and recreation department. If you are doing an on-line search, type PUBLIC GARDENS followed by the location you want in your browser’s search-box. The following link shows the location of some public gardens in the NW United States:
Check out our Gardens Page for a list of Portland area public gardens.