Lens-Artists Challenge #147 – Gardens


All gardening is landscape painting.

William Kent

This week Amy has asked us to focus on gardens. As she notes, they come in all shapes and sizes, and whether in our own backyard, in far-away places, or anywhere in-between, we all enjoy their beauty. I’ve opened this week with an image of a small garden that greets residents and visitors upon arrival on Kiawah. While not always quite so lush, there are well-tended flowers of some variety in every season. This month the island is anticipating 10,000 visitors who will attend the 103rd PGA Championship on Kiawah’s Ocean Course beginning May 17th.


“To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.”

Alfred Austin

Amy also mentions the importance within Japanese gardens of red bridges. Here in the lowcountry of South Carolina, the iconic Magnolia Gardens, which I’ve often featured here on Travels and Trifles, includes the beautiful red bridge in the image above. I was fortunate that another visitor allowed me to photograph her adorable daughter alone on the bridge.

live oak tree, Magnolia Gardens

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit..”

Nelson Henderson

Gardens are much more than flowers. In my image above, a glorious oak tree reaches out over the Ashley River adding to the charm of Magnolia’s gardens. Its Audubon Swamp, where cypress and tupelo trees grow directly within the water, also add to its unique beauty .


“We can plant to suit the needs of the birds and other wildlife that find a haven on our home ground, to do so is a moral dictate, not a personal whim.”

Allen Lacy

Gardens also invite visitors of the non-human variety ๐Ÿ˜Š. My example above is yet another scene from Magnolia. Alligators and turtles are but two of the many creatures frequently seen throughout the property. On a given spring day the combination of colorful flowers, interesting creatures and nesting birds by the hundreds draws professional photographers and their students from all corners of the country.

flowers, bee, iris, cone flower, wisteria

“The earth laughs in flowers.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Of course a garden post would not be complete without flowers, so I’ve featured three of my favorites above. The center image is from a friend’s garden on which she and her husband spend countless hours each spring with glorious results. The two end images are from my visits to Magnolia Gardens. Whether your own, a friend’s, a stranger’s or a masterpiece like Charleston’s Magnolia Gardens, there is much to love about gardens – even if, like me, you barely know a flower from a weed.

Sincere thanks to all who responded to last week’s Focus on the Details challenge. We enjoyed every detail you offered and hope those of you who chose to show floral and garden details have more to share for this week’s challenge. Please be sure to link your response to Amy’s original post here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you in our reader. Wishing all the moms a Happy Mothers’ Day filled with love and beauty.


127 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #147 – Gardens

  1. Thank you so much for all the pictures and thoughts.
    I do miss my gardens and flowers now that I live in the north of Scotland. I live near the seaside, and when I go out for my walks I can see the Black Isle and, when it’s clear, the Orkney Islands. It is a beautiful view but I wouldn’t say there are many flowers or trees: it’s too windy!
    Somebody suggested to fill my pockets with pebbles when the wind is strong, but is that going to work? Not far form the beach, a brave tree has survived the arctic winds but it’s so bent that will soon touch the ground. I’ll send you a picture the next time I see it.

  2. What a wonderful quote, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit..โ€ How seldom do we do that. Your gardens are gorgeous and so full of water, reflections, and wildlife as well as flowers and plants. I had no idea that alligators and turtles were such good friends.

      • I have pictures of them swimming with birds wading in their waters. It’s strange to see them with any other animals. ๐Ÿ™‚

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