When Fashion and Nature Collide – Flowers October 2018.

This is my October 2018 contribution to our special project: When Fashion and Nature Collide

I am especially delighted that my contributions this month include taking the fashion photos for Dominique’s post over at 3C Style. We both hope this will happen again as our friendship and shared creativity made it not only fun but produced results we are both delighted with.

This was something of a shock as I rarely take pictures of people and it was one of those rare and magical occasions when everything just worked. Later this week I will share some behind-the-scenes photos and stories!

Meanwhile I am considering advertising my services: ‘International Fashion Photographer available, will work for air fare and curry’

On a slightly different note – if someone had told me a year ago that I would find myself out in my garden taking pictures of myself wearing a masquerade mask and feather boa I would have never believed them. I kind of like the Gothic look personally.

WFNC Hats & Music

These flowers and Roda’s critter photos have provided the inspiration for Dominique‘s styling and Lisa’s art this month. Please go and visit their own blogs and see their posts. Collages used here were prepared by Roda. Above cartoon and hats collage by Lisa.

Photo Oct 16, 12 04 20 AM.jpg

Team Halloween collage by Roda

Photo 08-09-2018, 12 24 32
Halloween spider!
Photo Oct 15, 11 17 26 PM.jpg

Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style, 3C Style Photography by Darren, Flower photography by Darren, collage compiled by Roda.

Brunnera macrophylla

The ‘Siberian Bugloss’ is one of my favourite plants for a shady, moist spot in the garden. The gorgeous forget-me-not flowers are not even the main attraction on their own as the foliage is very attractive too. I am less keen on the variegated forms (top picture). The bottom picture shows the cultivar ‘Jack Frost’ which has almost silvery leaves and makes it shine out. We grow it beneath our apple trees along a north-facing fence. It seems virtually pest-free which is an added bonus. The Pulmonarias next to it suffered badly from mildew in our dry summer this year but the closely-related Brunnera were almost unaffected.


Halloween black cat. DO NOT TELL SUSAN I have been fraternising with felines!


Photo Oct 15, 11 22 44 PM.jpg

Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style, 3C Style Photography by Darren, Flower photography by Darren, collage compiled by Roda.

Calochortus obispoensis


As hinted by the name, this species is native to San Luis Obispo county in California USA. It is a bulb, closely related to lillies.

Winter growing, it flowers in late spring before dying back to a bulb during the hot summer before sprouting again in the cool moist winter. A fairly coastal species it benefits from protection from frost (and summer moisture) by being grown in a pot in a cool greenhouse. I find it fairly easy once past a year old, and have kept it going from seed from a Jim Archibald collection around 20 years ago. It seems to be self-fertile and hand-pollination will produce seed. This is easy to germinate but less easy to grow to maturity.

Calochortus is a large and varied genus. Virtually every species is attractive. Take a look at the galleries on the PBS site.

Photo 10-09-2018, 17 25 52

Halloween pumpkins!


Photo Oct 15, 11 35 08 PM.jpg

Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style, 3C Style Photography by Darren, Flower photography by Darren, collage compiled by Roda.


Confession time. I don’t like hydrangeas.  The old fashioned mop-headed ones (Hydrangea macrophylla) especially. They come into growth too early here and get caught by late frosts and look tatty . Plus the artificial looking colours are not to my taste.

They are, however, easy going plants, good for poor soils or seaside gardens.

In the right place I can tolerate them. We saw some in Montreal that were used carefully and looked rather nice. I also like some of the white, greenish flowered ones such as H. arborescens or H. paniculata (probably the species pictured here). H. quercifolia has very attractive foliage and autumn colour.

Photo 09-09-2018, 12 36 37 (1)

The above images were taken in Montreal. The two below are of Hydrangea arborescens with autumn colour at the Explorers Garden in Pitlochry, Scotland, this past weekend.


Artyplantsman goes Corvid

My beloved collaborators came up with this scheme whereby we would all disguise ourselves as animals for this Halloween post. It was decided that I would be a crow. Unfortunately the plan to take these pictures in Montreal did not work out, which is why I found myself self-consciously taking pictures of myself in disguise in my garden one morning last weekend. (As teased on Instagram)

(I am not sure what our very conservative neighbours thought about this. They think I am odd anyway so if my flamboyance annoyed them in some way I consider it a bonus.)

Anyway, a bit of photoshopping later and I revealed them to the crew. By this stage I was getting worried because I had seen no evidence of their own disguises and was starting to suspect the kind of prank where someone is told a party is fancy-dress when it isn’t…



    1. Thank you LisaπŸ˜„. As you gathered from IG, it was raining lots in Pitlochry. Most of my pictures of those hydrangeas were unusable because my hands were shaking and it was dark. Glad these two workedπŸ˜„. Xx

      Liked by 3 people

  1. The photography this month was especially stunning. I am so pleased you were the one behind the camera capturing the moments. The flowers are gorgeous and offered a great deal of inspiration, you are so talented! You made me laugh out loud! I have serious costume envy! The one with your wings stretched out is my favorite! We all dressed up for the party! Brilliant edition my friend! Much love and hugs! πŸ€—πŸ˜

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Lisa. It was amazing and liberating for me to take those photos. Very happy memoriesπŸ˜„.

      I plan to dye my hair green next and maybe start wearing skirts (LBD as already suggested?). If it shocks the neighbours I am up for it. πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

      If I am talented, thank you, then it is thanks to the encouragement of other talented friends like you that has allowed me to blossom Lisa.

      Love and hugs to you too😍❀

      Liked by 3 people

  2. This post is so lovely, informative and funny. Oh my, it would had been such a great prank. I’m laughing just picturing you. If only I had thought of it! You make a ravishing crow. I wish I could have disguised myself as a fox.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Oh so wish they were pulling a prank on you! That would have been hilarious. But it was also fun to see all four of you in those costumes😊. Calochortus obispoensis is my favorite this post! So amazing, just love this plant. Thank you for the amazing pics and plants this monthπŸ’•

    Liked by 5 people

          1. Yeah a bit of a challenge but you just have to pack it into a few trips, let’s say every three month. And come back with enough material to sustain you until next time. Come on where is your adventurous spirit πŸ˜‰ Anything is possible ❀️ xo

            Liked by 1 person

  4. This has been a terrific month for this series. Black cats, fall fashions and human crows! If your neighbors are truly that conservative, tell them to Brexit the hell out of the neighborhood! I still think you should have worn some of those fishnet stockings. Now that would worry the neighbors! The flowers are gorgeous and you are a ‘treat’ to behold. πŸ€— β€οΈπŸ€—

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You really should try get more jobs as a fashion photographer, Darren! The ones you made of Dominique are just fabulous! As are of course your plant shots – that flower from Obispo is really quite something extraordinary. And you look great as a raven!! Bet the neighbours had a good peek through the curtains. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great composition and you look great as a dark angel. A powerful force to be reckoned with in juxtaposition with those delicate blooms. Works for me.
    I can hear the tones of an ‘Enigma’ composition thrumming through the Halloween edition. Well done. 😁❀️


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