Archive for December, 2011

Sunday Zen


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We love our gardens and we love our photography, so what could be better than garden photography? Not much. We thought we’d be Santa’s little helpers and list a few items that would be sure to please anyone who takes shooting gardens even a little bit seriously. The only thing hard about making this list was narrowing it down to just a few items.


At the very top of my list would be a macro lens. I want to get up close and personal with every blossom and leaf in my garden and a macro is the way to do it. An AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8 would do the trick, though truthfully it’s at a price that would take several Christmases to justify. Still, I can dream can’t I?

Much more reasonably priced would be a 5 in 1 collapsible reflector kit. This is a great, inexpensive way to control lighting in the garden. Use the sliver or gold reflectors to add light to the subject, or use the translucent disc to soften the highlights and shadows — instant overcast lighting.

There are so many books on my list. At the top is one that Mary Beth recommends as well, Beane Flowers. Christopher Beane shows you flowers like you’ve never seen them before. I also like The Art of Flower and Garden Photography by Clive Nichols. This book is out of print, but you can buy good used copies here.

By the way, you don’t have to spend a fortune on books. I’ve been checking gardening and photography books out of the library by the armload. Happy as a pig in you-know-what!


Mary Beth:

First – Mapplethorpe The Complete Flowers. I saw this beautiful book in Open Shutter Gallery here in Durango a few months ago. I was mesmerized. I plopped myself down on the floor and got lost in it.  If you are interested photographing flowers or just want to look at some beautiful photographs check it out. This book, by the way, is the only present I’m asking for this Christmas. If the price is too hefty, another beautiful book would Beane Flowers — gorgeous.

Second on my list would be a BlackRapid Sport sling for my camera. I want one of these for when I go snowshoeing or on long hikes. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about my camera slipping off my shoulder.

Third is a wide-angle lens; to be more specific the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L. I long to have a wide-angle lens to capture the wildflowers that go on forever here in the mountains during the spring and early summer.

Let us know what’s on your list. We love to talk equipment!


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Durango. Colorado

Irvine, California

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Gardeners are easy to buy gifts for, they never have everything they need. Tools get lost, “borrowed”,  broken, or they simply wear out like our garden gloves which we go through at an alarming rate. Not that we would want anyone to buy us garden gloves. No, we’d like to get something that we wouldn’t buy for ourselves — something interesting, something that sparks our imaginations, or that’s a bit of an indulgence.

What might that be you ask? Well, Mary Beth and I have a few suggestions for gifts for the gardeners on your list who work so hard all year long to beautify your surroundings and to leave their small patches of this amazing planet in better shape than they found it.

Barbara’s List:

On the top of my list of suggestions is something that I already have and love:

Beautiful and practical, these Vermont slate garden markers designed by my very good friend Liz and handcrafted by her husband Jim are a gift that any gardener would be thrilled to have. And with markers for herbs, vegetables and perennials, you’re sure to find the perfect selection for your gardener. $5 each with discounts for orders larger than five.




A good trowel is hard to find. I’ve busted more than a few of them in heavy clay soil. But I think this one might do the trick. It’s a hand-forged 4″ trowel from Red Pig Garden Tools that looks like it will last a lifetime. $30




Last, but not least is the very versatile hori-hori knife from A.M. Leonard. Good for digging, weeding, transplanting or dividing perennials, your gardener will find a million uses for this tool. $21.99





Mary Beth’s List:

I think that seeds would make perfect stocking stuffers. Check out these cool seed bombs from Etsy shop recycledideas. $8.60 for a DIY kit that makes 200 – 250 seed bombs or $2 per bag of 5 -6.





For the bee-loving gardener, a beginner bee hive kit from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm. $195





A good hand tool carrier is the mother of all gift ideas. I have one like this that I stole from Ray and everybody at work wanted one. It’s rugged and perfect for garden tools and other miscellaneous garden stuff.  $39.99





And look at this site. ‘Scuse me as I wipe the drool off my desk. I’d love pretty much any one of the hand tools from the Garden Tool Company. $11 – $95

Now, you’d better get going because, incredibly, there’s not that much time left before the stocking are filled and presents are wrapped and waiting to be opened!

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Durango, Colorado

Irvine, California

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