Tuesday, December 20, 2011
For the love
My mother-in-law is a fabulous gardener. When Eric and I married I had very little knowledge of flower gardening, but I had a deep love of flowers. Over the years, I slowly gleaned some of my mother-in-laws gardening wisdom from a five-minute conversation here, a casually dropped comment there. My efforts in my own garden haven't been nearly as fruitful as Debbie's, but it's a fun hobby and a common interest that has led to a true friendship with my mother-in-law.
The love of flowers is not the only motivation I have to garden. I also have a real passion for photographing them. I love taking pictures of my kids, but nothing fires up my creativity like a patch of flowers, beautiful evening light, and a few minutes of quiet with no other companion than my camera and my 50mm lens. I get lost in the beauty of God's creation and minutes fly by.
Flowers also trigger strong memories for me. When we brought Jonathan home from the hospital our deep pink azaleas were in full bloom; with Elizabeth it was the pale yellow day lilies. A pansy always makes me think of Eric's grandmother who had a particular love for them. And, the flower that I will always associate with my mother-in-law is the zinnia.
Debbie grows them every year and in abundance. She has a long narrow border along a path up to my father-in-law's shop and it is always full to bursting with zinnias. Ever since I got my camera, about three and a half years ago, I've been longing to photograph her flowers. But, we always seemed to be there two early in the season or after the blooms we're dried up and left to make seeds for next year's garden or there was a season when her zinnias just didn't come up very well at all.
But--but!--this year they were still going strong at Thanksgiving when we were in Eric's hometown for the holiday. Add in some beautiful, fall, late-afternoon light and I was in photographer's heaven.
For years I've had a plan to take pictures of Debbie's zinnias and frame a collage of them for her birthday. Finally, this year, I'll be able to do it!