* Wed C&C "No Theme" Thread #697 on 2021 09 01 *

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
P3T3S Senior Member • Posts: 2,165
Re: Botanical Garden Project Part 1

minniev wrote:

This week and probably next I'll be sharing sets from a project I'm doing for our local environmental group.

In the 1970s the area where I live was just "developing" out of wilderness and less than 200 families lived out here, most having moved from a nearby big city. The ladies, perhaps bored, formed a garden club, but found the area so different that their usual projects were untenable. So they focused on creating a large botanical garden featuring native plant life, with walking trails throughout. As the ladies aged they became less able to maintain it, and now only a few are still afoot. Today's generation of women are too busy working to keep the club alive. Our non profit took it on as a project, got a grant, and by spring will have completed the cleanup/fixup/refurbishing. It will be handicapped accessible and braille certified. I'm doing the photography for the print and kiosk guides (except for the birds, who are being done by a local Audubon bird photographer). These aren't in order, but plucked from the larger set of the spring/summer grouping.

This is the main trail, about a mile long with some unpaved side trails and features to explore. It will all be smoothed for easy wheelchair access and marked for safety for the visually impaired.

The first thing the ladies planted was camellias. Unchecked for half a century they are now large trees. After their camellia phase, they decided to plant only native plants, but they left the camellias where they were.

Bill has written several books on "fernology" and led the development of the fern bog, which features every kind of native fern in central Misssissippi.

I don't know all their names but they are fun to photograph in closeup.

Wild morning glories abound in summer.

Because a creek runs through the middle of the garden we often have a light fog in the mornings that makes photos more fun. There's bird boxes like this, individually chosen for the types of birds our Audubon folks have identified as residents. The signage for the visually impaired will have bird songs and tactile images.

We wanted an outdoor classroom to encourage field trips by school groups as well as grown up groups like garden clubs, so volunteers built us one.

I've taught photography classes in the outdoor classroom. It's free to the public for anyone to use.

One of my assignments was to photograph a Devil's Walking Stick which I would have thought was an insect. After several tries, I finally found someone who knew what and where one was - ancient breed of trees with few leaves and lots of thorns.

There is a raised butterfly garden out front that is accessible for wheelchairs, so the original ladies' club members, many of whom are wheelchair bound now, can putter around with trowels if they wish.

This is an excellent series, in which the photos and the text complement each other so well,  awakening interest in each other, and making something even better than the two parts.

The photos themselves are not simply illustrations for the text, but well-crafted images in beautiful light.

Then there is the project itself, a very worthwhile cause, which restores and preserves and creates a place to be enjoyed by many.


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