Tag Archives: Garden

A Recipe for Creativity

watercolorbridge-webTake a quiet, rainy, gray Saturday morning with little ambition.Add a bit of a bridge shot in IR, layer a watercolored paper towel,then  an invert filter . Hopefully this results in a dreamy garden landscape. Like cooking but with less mess and zero calories, it’s just as satisfying. Enjoy!


Tired Iris

I shot a number of photos with my phone of an iris that one of my students brought me from her garden. As it aged, the colors and textures deepened. Being unable to let well enough alone, I added some textures to emphasize the weathering and enhance the  patina.


Lady Slippers or Grandma’s Dancing Shoes

Lady Slippers

BJ Silberman

Wrapped in tissue paper memories

Grandma’s dancing shoes

Napped on the top shelf of her closet.

The silk slippers with pearl buttons,

Remnants of another life,

No longer fit her knobbed feet

and twisted toes.

On laundry days,

Grandma’s aprons,

like kites

Trapped in mid-flight with their tails dangling,

Competed with the zinnias for attention.

While her house dresses,

gay paper lanterns fluttering in the breeze,

made the garden ready for a party.

When the washing was hung,

Grandma danced barefoot

on the grass.


Finding Inspiration and a Second Childhood at the Memphis Botanic Garden

Maybe it’s because I grew up in a big city and didn’t have a backyard, or that by the time I had the house and yard, I was too busy with kids and career to worry about making it whimsical. Maybe those are my excuses , but when I found My Big Backyard at The Memphis Botanic Garden (www.memphisbotanicgarden.com) I found all the imagination and charm one adult or child might want. It’s definitely the place for my second childhood.

My first visit , a weekday morning with bright sun and a whisper of clouds , was perfect for shooting infrared. As I entered the outdoor house with its moss-covered sofa and chair,vintage kitchen stove and refrigerator, beds and bath,  enchanted me. (I’d die for the outdoor shower with purple tub.) I could imagine listening to bedtime stories under the stars on one of the iron beds . It would be wonderful if they ‘d plant a patchwork quilt coverlet of flowers on each bed.

From this first visit I was hooked. It ‘s like having my own secret place without the work and I keep returning. Each time I visit my photos are different, and there are changes – in color , placement and additions.It grows.

The enormous treehouse , metal chrysalis swing , and house of twigs enchanted my camera for hours.The hand of artists is felt throughout the area. Birdhouses, bottle trees, sculpture, scarecrows, and treehouse art makes the garden a living gallery.

Recently, visit I was intrigued by how making music is such an integral part of the site. In the playhouse are making materials that include flip-flops as rhythm instruments, a xylophone of wrenches , and a set of chimes made from metal wineglasses (would make a  great Pinterest project). Right in front is a wooden bench of which the seat is a xylophone. I’d love one of those for my backyard. Sounds also include a half-hourly thunderstorm and spray at Raindrop Stop.

You need your imagination to dress scarecrows, crawl through anthills, or climb a spider’s web. You can put on a puppet show or take up residence in a person – sized doghouse . Each experience is multi-sensory, but the one I find myself using the most is the sense of delight.

After reading about the next addition coming to the garden, Candy Plant Land, I can’t wait to see Licorice Leap, climb Big Rock Candy Mountain or stroll through Marshmallow Meadow. It will be an interactive game and Candyland was my early favorite. I was always so excited when I got the ice cream card.I suppose I will need to volunteer to babysit a friend’s children so that I can explore My Big Backyard through a child’s eyes.I’ll also bring my sweet tooth and camera.


%d bloggers like this: