At this time of year, I spend a lot of time looking at flowers and photograph them constantly. I delete most of them. It is not hard to take a pleasing image with a macro lens.
But, what I enjoy the most is to come home and find an image I hadn’t “seen” through the viewfinder. Usually, it is a lesson of color and focus that captivates me, but this time, it was a lesson in beauty.
Verbena is a popular container plant. They cascade over the sides of container gardens and come in many different colors. You have to deadhead them in order to encourage growth.
This image of a red verbena strikes me for one reason: it is as beautiful an image I can create of a single verbena , but on its own-solo-I think the real beauty of this flower is lost. Its nature is not to stand out individually but to wow you in thick groups of contrasting colors falling gracefully over the rims of hanging plants or over the sides of sturdy patio containers. It is a flower that relates to its neighbors not because it is forced to-but because it needs to: its beauty is not truly visible without others.
Who knew? I grew up in the “Flower Power” generation. I don’t think we went deeply enough. Flowers can teach humans a thing or two. In July, when my containers have had more than a week of growth, I’ll take another photograph and leave the wisdom of verbena up to you.
©Pat Coakley 2009
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