Spring Collaborations

Even when I’m on my own, shooting a garden is a collaborative act between the garden’s creator and myself. A good designer has already established visual relationships and plant combinations that I must then translate and enhance through the lens. But when there’s time and resources to bring in talented Art Directors, Photography Editors, Stylists and Producers, the results are often exceptional. Here are a few recently published examples:

Outdoor Rooms, Spring 2009. Produced and styled by Jon Carloftis. Jon is one of the most imaginative garden designers and stylists I know. We’ve worked together in PA and KY for several years now and I’m constantly floored by how quickly he can toss together a tasty tableau without breaking a sweat. I’m usually panicking as we arrive at a new site with a hot sun rising — but Jon unfailingly whips the scene together before the magic moment has passed.

Philadelphia Home, Spring/Summer 2009. The Schumacher garden. The king of all difficult sites, this steep hillside has been reformed through thirty years of devoted care by Elizabeth and Ralph. Three main terraces hold sitting areas, exotic plant collections and one-of-a-kind garden objects from Liz’s fine store, Garden Accents. Zoey Sless-Kitain, the magazine’s most excellent PD, kept pointing me towards angles I had overlooked and Lisa Russell ably assisted with armfuls of tasty props.

Country Gardens, Spring 2009. The Anne Spencer garden. This was a last minute find while shooting Lynchburg’s famed Old City Cemetery with Marty Ross and James Baggett, editor and lover of literary gardeners. Anne Spencer (1882-1975) was a Harem Renaissance poet who found her muse in the natural world. This one wasn’t on our schedule, so we had only a few hours to pull everything together. Marty artfully styled the set views with a trunk full of plants and some indigenous props before the rains arrived. One of the our finest garden writers (and recently knighted GWA Fellow), Marty also penned this sweet story.

Garden Design, April 2009. This Calla Lily feature was shot entirely in the Netherlands when Tovah and I traveled there last spring. With spathes this gorgeous, we couldn’t pass them up during our visits to various breeders. Tovah championed the story and found it a beautiful home in the beautiful Garden Design. Our mugshots rubbed shoulders on the contributors page too.

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