Steppe Planting

Here are a few shots of the Big Sky Meadow at RHS Hyde Hall. It is a 46 acre project to convert land to a perennial meadow and I’m sure you’ll agree it looks pretty amazing.

The plants are those common to the Eurasian steppes, North American prairies and African grasslands. The UK has lost 97% of its meadows. To read more about this project, please visit

Blue Eryngium planum and yellow Galium verum.

When dried, the yellow flowers smell of freshly mown hay. These were once used to stuff straw mattresses. A yellow dye was also made from these flowers.

Grasses swaying in the wind. The weather was not favourable for photography – a light wind and drizzle.

Queen Anne’s lace, a member of the carrot family. Legend has it that Queen Anne of England (1655 – 1714), pricked her finger and a drop of blood landed on the white lace she was sewing.

Berkehya purpurea from South Africa is a drought tolerant plant, suited to areas with poor soils.

Red clover – in herbal medicine, this was used to treat skin disorders.


Sissinghurst Gardens & Castle – Part I

A visit to the world-famous gardens of Vita Sackville-West and a chance to experiment with manual settings and light and shade.
Vita often wrote of Sissinghurst: ‘The heavy golden sunshine enriched the old brick with a kind of patina, and made the tower cast a long shadow across the grass, like the finger of a gigantic sundial veering slowly with the sun. Everything was hushed and drowsy and silent but for the coo of the white pigeons.’
Sunshine lighting up flowers.
Irises. If only Monet had been alive to see this garden …
Chamomile flowers growing in the vegetable garden area.
Beautiful, delicate flowers.
Sunlight highlighting a flower in the shade.
Meadow flowers and grasses swaying in the wind, in the wilderness of the Orchard area.
Interesting capture of light and shadows.

Complementary colours

Recently I took several photos on bright, sunny days and was attracted by the more colourful contrasts, because I knew the pale, delicate colours would be washed out. Occasionally, I also like to sketch and paint and I recently bought a colour wheel. This got me thinking about the use of complementary colours in photography and their effectiveness. When opposite colours of the colour wheel are placed next to each other, they can produce an eye-popping picture.


A seven spot ladybird on a bluebell in macro.


An orange poppy against long, green grass.


Red poppy anemones blowing in the wind, with a hint of green in the background.

Just blossom & magnolia.

Not much else to say really, blossom is so beautiful. But it it believed that the first flower, which existed 140 million years ago, resembled a Magnolia and that these flowers existed before bees. 







The Fibonacci sequence in nature

I saw this plant and for some reason, the term ‘Fibonacci sequence’ popped into my head. I had heard of it and knew it was linked to patterns in nature, but really knew little about it. So I did some investigating. The Fibonacci sequence starts like this: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 and continue to infinity. Each number is the sum of the two numbers that precede it. 

It appears throughout nature – for example, in the design of shells, the way tree branches grow out of trees, the development of leaf veins, the pattern of seed heads, the positioning of flower petals (such as roses) and is even in the shape of tropical storms. It has been described as “the code of nature” and runs through the cosmos – appearing in spiral galaxies. Isn’t nature clever?