Have you seen our ‘More than just gardeners’ Instagram page?
Sometimes I confess that it feels odd writing about what we do. After all, gardening is a very visual experience, and it is hard for words to convey the results of our hard work in our clients’ gardens. Of course, words offer a different perspective than a picture or a video, so both have certain benefits over the other, but this year we have been busy building our Instagram page for our visitor to see.
Now, if the name Instagram means nothing to you, then let me explain what it is: at its simplest, it is an online photo album where users can set up their own page and publish their photographs and videos. For the purposes of disseminating visual information, it is an excellent platform.
And for us at Instant Scenery, it is a helpful way of conveying what it is we do. A picture, it has been said, speaks a thousand words, yet a video speaks more still. So with that in mind, I would like to introduce you to some of the very best photos and videos that we have taken over the last twelve months, since we uploaded our first photograph on Boxing Day 2015, in an effort to showcase some of our work.
Honey fungus on the willow tree:
This was a photograph taken in a Worcestershire garden this autumn. Here it is easy to see why it called honey fungus, due to the deep orange-yellow and caramel colour of its toadstools, but in fact the toadstools are usually only present in summer and autumn. The real symptom of honey fungus is the white fungal growth that can most often be found between the bark and the wood of the tree. As honey fungus is usually a parasite on decaying root systems, then these white growths are most frequently found near the base of the tree.
I like this photograph because is shows the scale and process of life and death and rebirth in living things. The demise of one thing is an opportunity, and necessity, for the life of another, and it must be said that fungi are one of the least appreciated of our garden inhabitants, and also one of the most important as well. The other great thing is the colours in the picture: taken in autumn, the trees in the background are aflame with the oranges and golden browns of the season, and the fading greens that signal the final weeks before the canopy finally falls.
The stunning autumn morning:
With the fog rising off the field and the river Severn beyond, the contrails of early morning aircraft dispersing in the clear sky overhead, and the sun blazing away in its eternal fusion-powered tempest, this is a photograph that speaks of mystery and the promise of a new day, with all the trials, tragedies, and promises and adventure that comes with it. The thought of watching travellers aboard their planes high above, perhaps coming in to Birmingham or taking off from there, only encourages this sense of mystery.
The brilliant dahlia.
This close up of a dahlia flower in full bloom is a cheerful picture that always gives me satisfaction. The way the actual pistil of the flower is facing directly into the sun shows it in its best light, and the yellow and blood red of its petals is of a vigour that no artist’s pallet could ever truly mimic. These perennial plants come in a wide variety of colours, but the one pictured here is a dark leaved breed, of the ‘happy yellow red bicolour.’ For adding that bit of ‘wow’ to your borders, there aren’t really too many displays that can compete.
The busy bumblebee.
This is the first video I have included in this brief introduction to our Instagram gallery, but it is worth just listening to the sound this creature gives off as it gathers its nectar for the colony. The sound is such that it’s bringing out the inner Jeremy Clarkson in me – but no manmade engine yet has the power and longevity of compare with this humble worker. As someone who likes photography and making my own videos (for the gardens!) it is also a testament to how the technology has moved on so quickly: a few years ago such close ups would have been the preserve of a major wildlife documentary film maker, whereas now we can all get closer to nature and observe it all the closer because of it. Wonderful!
An old friend since our first day!
This garden is something special to me. Instant Scenery has been looking after the gardens of our Worcestershire clients since 2009, and the garden in this photograph is one of the very first we took on. It has seen some of my proudest moments, challenging me with new problems and forcing me to come up with solutions that I have since used elsewhere. Taken in the height of summer in mid-morning, this is a garden that is kept in good order by regular weekly maintenance. As a fantastic example of what a good client-gardener relationship should be, it is the project that defined all that came after it in my business, and it was a solid foundation for me to start my business on.
Fancy some strawberries and cream?
I have been meaning to do an article on our work for the Worcester Lawn Tennis Association for a long time now, and I will do one when the 2017 season approaches. Nonetheless, such a photograph as this brings back the memories of summer and all the enthusiasm that the long days grant us – and as I sit here writing in midwinter (it is the day of the Solstice as I type!) longing for the sunlight is only natural. The photograph of the tennis court also reminds me of a project I wasn’t bold enough to go through with in the end – it was going to be a charity calendar for my clients with some mildly cheeky pictures contained within. I don’t know if you remember that famous poster that featured a young lady on the court one morning, in a slightly revealing pose as she approached the net? (Incidentally, that poster, known internationally as ‘Tennis Girl,’ was taken in Edgbaston, which is almost local!) Nonetheless, would you buy a Instant Scenery cheeky calendar? I’m still in two minds . . .
So please take five minutes to have a look through the photos and videos we’ve put together over the last twelve months, and let us know what you think! Hopefully, you will be inspired to give your gardens and outdoor spaces that extra lift for 2017!