The Greater Garden

The Greater Garden

Thinking of entering? Find out what garden photography means to us

Photography by Annie Green-Armytage

The Greater Garden

We’re now approaching the final deadline of Competition 12 and it is therefore important to reflect on some of the wider values and aims of the competition, especially if you’re entering for the first time. Specifically, what does garden photography mean to us and why it has to encompass such a broad range of photographic context.

Garden photography can seem like a niche genre but unlocking the wider aspects of the subject craft, taps into nature photography and the trends of the current age in the most broadest sense.

This is why botanical photography of all kinds is growing in popularity, not just because of its potential but because of its applicability and relevance to the challenges of the modern era, where the environment is facing ever more greater challenges. However, these challenges can be overcome and photography can and must play its part.

By focusing on flora, garden photography stretches into vast parts of the natural world all with an equally vast potential for the photographer. Where there’s flora there are the qualities of the garden and all of the accompanying feelings and associations that go with it.

The desire to cultivate and control (it could be said all art is a desire to feel, communicate or exert control) that which we see in nature is an ancient activity and the garden is just one of these manifestations.

Just as plant hunters would return to royal courts or learned societies with their newfound treasures so the verb ‘capture’ is used to describe the act of creating a botanical photograph that we can share with the world without a need for exploitation and human cost. That is the beauty of the current quest. To take up the same initiative of cultivation and control, but to renewed celebratory and inspirational ends. The age of discovery will never truly die.

The cultivation of values and activities that bring us closer to nature, not further apart is the new act of botanical capture. A garden then is a space used to nurture this connection and the camera is the proof of its existence, wherever we may be.

Photography helps quantify this experience and communicate its importance. We therefore define garden photography as the ways in which we experience flora, in any location, in any setting with any interpretation.

Taking ownership of important things we have the ability to control, whilst cultivating that which we want to see in the world is what modern day garden photography means to us and we’re more excited than ever to say, enter now.