Chris Gardner

I have always had a deep love and enchantment by all things botanical from an early age. Since I work as an Estate Gardener, I am constantly surrounded by nature's bounty. As a horticultural professional, I try and act as an ambassador between the human and plant world. In many ways we need each other for a better life. I get to travel quite a bit, and I am always interested in the flora of a new region. I can act as a plant explorer and recorder and can always find something interesting or new to me. Photography has always been a passion of mine and the digital revolution has really set that aflame. Macro flower photography often reveals a different look of flowers, one that I might have not seen without looking carefully. While the beauty of a flower can be fleeting or ephemeral, I feel these photographs often capture and preserve some of the details that can be missed by the casual flower gazer. I have grown a lot of the flowers featured here. There is a lot of satisfaction in having planted the seed, nurtured the plant to flower, photographing it, and hanging it on the wall to admire its beauty everyday.

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Almost Daily Gardening and Plant Blog:

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01. Grandiflora Rose 'Glowing Peace'
This picture was taken at the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden. Originally designed in 1916 and rebuilt in 1987, the garden features 2700 varieties of roses. Rose photography is always rewarding to me. 'Glowing Peace' is a great rose that I have grown with success.

02. Morning Glory 'Heavenly Blue' (Ipomoea tricolor)
A garden classic and a flower that usually provides some interesting macro views. This plant was by the front door and everyday it greeted me with this wonderful shade of blue. I later mixed it with a Cypress Vine and the contrast of the flowers was very nice.

03. Daisies at a local garden center's display garden. Lately I have been planting more and more Daisies as I have been getting requests for them. They are a simple but elegant flower that most everyone can appreciate. It is funny to me that this is one of most popular photos. It was shot with a Coolpix 5400 point and shoot.

04. Decorative Dahlia (Dahlia cultivar)
I have been growing Dahlias for a long time. They are a wonderful flower to photograph. They seem to provide their own lighting sometimes. This is a Dinner Plate Dahlia and the flower was huge. That seems to make it easier to take close ups of them. I took this picture at work and the Dahlia bed provided photo opportunities all season long.

05. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
I was just taking a picture of this Coneflower when the Bumble Bee walked around the side of the flower. Coneflowers are a beautiful addition to the border or mass plantings.

06. Hairy Toad Lily (Tricyrtis hirta)
While the Toad Lily looks like an exotic flower, it is an easy to grow plant for the woodland garden. This is one of the many seedlings that my plants produce every year.

07. Mexican Aster (Cosmos bipinnatus 'Picotee')
Cosmos is often described as a beginner's flower as it is very easy to grow. It is one of my favorite annuals to grow and it is also very photogenic. I grew a small stand of 'Picotee' in the Dahlia bed and this one came out with the best color variations.

08. Dwarf Aster (Aster sp.)
This is a Honey Bee on a dwarf Aster flower. I lost track of the cultivar name but it sure is a nice color, a real autumn treat. I have this plant in a bed with some Astilbe, Daylilies, Japanese Anemones, and some early spring bulbs.

09. Shrub Verbena Lantana camara
I was very happy with my Lantana plants this year. The cultivars they are bringing out seem more and more outstanding. This image illustrates one of the many reasons I like macro flower photography: it shows a completely different view of Lantana than I am used to.

10. This image presented itself at Bunratty Castle in Ireland. Going to Ireland this year during the season was a dream come true. It is a wonderful country for the photographer. Almost everything was against getting this picture. First my D70s battery went dead; second it was around twilight in that flat dull grey Irish twilight sort of way. I used my back-up camera a Nikon Coolpix 8400.

11. Tropicanna Canna (Canna var. Phasion)
Canna Lily flowers always seem so colorful and arty to me. This one is 'Tropicanna', a great cultivar with multicolored striped leaves. Always a nice plant for the summer garden, it comes in so many sizes, shapes and colors it would be hard not to find one that you liked.

12. Clematis Vine (Clematis)
This was taken with my original digital camera, a 4 megapixel Nikon 4300. It is still kicking around. It just goes to show that you don't need a lot of pixels or fancy lens to take a nice shot. I have gotten some good results with my point and shoot digicam. I think you need to get to know the strengths and weakness of your camera and then use it for what it is best at. The Clematis featured is climbing on a dwarf Japanese Red Maple. Clematis are fun flowers to take pictures of because of the dramatic centers.

13. This is just a simple daisy I grew from seed. A friend of mine turned me onto bud photography, which I never thought was particularly exciting. I have since found a whole new realm of plant photography. Catching the right timing of an emerging flower sometimes takes a little planning. I sometimes am thinking a few days to a week ahead when I am out in the garden taking pictures. I used to think of Daisies as common or pedestrian flowers. I have since figured out their beauty is in the simplicity and timelessness.

14. Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)
My favorite tourist attraction in Miami, Florida is Parrot Jungle. It is a wonderful place to get up close to a variety of birds and other small animals. They recently moved to a larger, new facility which isn't as nice as the old one but still worth the visit. This Scarlet Macaw was very inquisitive and he and his mate posed for several pictures.