Fruits Of Labour

I am close to deciding on my final cut for the Everton Festival Photographic Competition. Many painful decisions are being made now, concerning which shots to leave out.

In order seriously to consider the deer having her nose scratched I have converted this image to Black and White, thus giving a sharper silhouette. This is, incidentally, quite a small crop from the original picture. Does anyone have an opinion?

Jackie has been working very hard all this week on planting and replenishment of soil.

Here she tidies what she has achieved against the kitchen wall;

this side of the patio, all of which has been repotted, leads through the Dead End Path,

Earlier plantings include this allium in the Palm Bed and clematis climbing the Wedding Day (formerly Agriframes) arch.

While I think of it, I have been calling the clematis wandering up the wisteria arbour Niobe; we now think it should be named Star of India.

It faces the bright red Chiliean Lantern tree.

Rose Altissimo stands sentinel between Elizabeth’s Bed and the

Rose Garden where Laura Ford’s yellow pigment splashes onto the heuchera border, and

Special Anniversary

nods to the numerous gloves the foxes have scattered therein.

Creamy yellow Summer Time makes its bid to support the peeling old shed;

Jacqueline du PrΓ© plays on;

and the deep pink climber Elizabeth rediscovered races Roserie de la Haie to the skies.

The Weeping Birch Bed bursts with burgeoning blooms.

This evening we dined on chicken breasts roasted in sweet chilli sauce; creamy mashed potatoes; and ratatouille with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Garnacha Syrah.


  1. I’ve tried three times to post a preference.. I’ll try again. I like the top photo..b&w silhouette. Fingers crossed that this one will go through.

      1. i don’t know what it was. It kept asking for all my information and then rejecting me. But perseverance paid off at last. Which photo did you choose?

          1. Thanks for letting me know. No matter how much I tell myself I’ve done this a thousand times before, when it doesn’t work it always feels like I’m doing something wrong.

          2. I think the answer is “A little of each.” (What my Grandmother used to say every Thanksgiving dinner when asked which kind of pie she would like._

  2. Yay. It went through. I love the Chilean Lantern tree. I need one of those. I also commented that you should give thanks for deer ticks as that is probably why that little bird is on the deer’s nose and why the deer put up with it. Good luck in the competition.

  3. I too go for the B&W version. The Chilean Lantern tree looks wonderful. Does it take a lot of care? Obviously a lot of care has gone into the rest of the garden.

    1. Thanks very much, Tootlepedal. We just give the tree a heavy prune. We inherited it and it is in the wrong place – otherwise it would invade the path. Appreciate your comments on the pic.

  4. i think the silhouette rather splendid in truth. I’d stick with it, if I were you. The garden is looking fab of course…

  5. The b&w is certainly eye catching. I think the perfection of the composition is ruined by the deer in front of the deer receiving the attention though and wonder if, without the coloured original to consult it might be a bit difficult for viewers to work out what they are looking at? I could of course be quite wrong – it’s more a thought than an opinion……. Garden is looking fab-u-lous!!

    1. I was of a similar mind… B/W is the most striking, but also the most distracting owing to all the extra ears! πŸ™‚

      and the garden is fabulous. Something new every time you look!

  6. I definitely think the cropping is necessary, but I’m not sure if I like the original tones of the silhouette, which look more natural, or the black and white that is sharper, but seems more played with? But that could just be me looking at it on my computer screen.
    All of Jackie’s hard work is evident in your garden. It is stunning!

  7. I do love foxgloves. They are so lovely. As for the photo, going against many, I prefer the color crop, I think for the same reasons Pauline mentioned–in the B&W there are indiscernible shapes and it doesn’t seem as sharp to me. This is all taste, of course–as many prior comments attest. You must use your own judgment, but I’ve given my brief input.

    1. Much appreciated, Lisa. I’m still havering – but at least these responses are confirming that I should edge something else out with it πŸ™‚

  8. Jackie works so hard and the results are stunning! You have such a colourful garden with an amazing variety of plants.
    I think I prefer the colour crop for the reasons that Arlingwoman has stated.

  9. The crop is necessary for the theme β€”the bird and deer story is lost in the larger picture. Great images of your garden matched by equally sparkling writing.

  10. The B&W photo of the first three photos, is my favorite! It’s eye catching for sure! The cropping and “lack” of color draws your eyes right to the bird. πŸ™‚ I love how birds just do their thing, wherever they need to do it. πŸ™‚
    Applause and Thumbs-Up to Jackie!
    ? ? ? ? ? ?
    The garden is stunning…so many colors, textures, shapes, sizes, etc.! πŸ™‚
    Your meal sounds so delicious! πŸ™‚ We fixed Hawaiian style chicken with pineapple, an Asian salad, and I sliced some fresh tomatoes and avocados to add to the meal. πŸ™‚
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

  11. All’s fair in love and photography competitions. As a cropped b/w photograph it’s superb and you should entire it without hesitation. The top one, just four deer and the bird. It’s a stormer as we say round here!

  12. I hope ‘Ginger’ gets a look in for the comp? She’s a natural! πŸ™‚

    That Chilean lantern tree is amazing – i love it. πŸ™‚

    I’ve never understood foxgloves?? They should be foxbootees surely? Foxes have four feet, do they not? That rose in the corner of the foxglove foto looks stunning, by the way!

  13. I like the cropping as it focuses the eye on the main attraction. But, I also like a little color to make out the scene better. My (untrained eye) opinion ? Best of luck in the competition! You do have many lovely photographs.
    The garden is stunning!

  14. The black silhouette is the best!!
    My goodness the garden has exploded with color – the Head Gardener and her assistants deserve a standing ovation!!

  15. I love the deer silhouette. It catches a stunning moment in time. I do think the cropping works well also, but I think a little colour avoids the cardboard cutout look of the B&W version.

  16. I like the B & W silhouette, Derrick. ? All of Jackie’s labor is paying off – the garden is looking magnifique! ?

  17. The silhouette black and white photo works best, I think.

    I observe Jackie’s healthy back bent over her labours with envy. My garden languishes while I recuperate. Bloody irritating. Thank goodness for your garden which I enjoy vicariously.

  18. Hi, I’m james from usa, ne, poet, etc.. Really like your photography, thanx. Since you asked, the one: “this side of the patio, all of which has been repotted, leads through the Dead End Path,”, seems to not be exactly in focus; I would leave that one out- i.m.h.o. Quite the feast for the eye, have a better day πŸ™‚ reality

  19. Oh, I love these shots of the garden, and the head gardener at her labors. I think I remember the rose garden when you got there as some weeds and bricks. One day you should put before and after photos up.

    Beautiful photos and poetic prose, today, sir.

  20. I think someone else mentioned in the comments about the abundance of ears being a distraction, and although stunning, the silhouette rendition puts it in the ‘could be almost anywhere’ category for me. πŸ˜€

  21. Brilliant Derrick. The cropped monochrome looks good to me. Have you tried to crop from the point where the black background and the brown grass meet on the deer’s shoulder? I love playing with cropping.

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