garden photography: wildlife at kew

Tips for photographing wildlife:
Learn to look for opportunities in urban garden environments, it is a good place to start photographing birds as you can encourage them by establishing feeding areas close to the house so you can watch them from a window. A bird bath will also provide a useful spot. Remember to use a fast shutter speed as birds move quickly. And be aware of the direction of the light.

Visit parks with lakes for ducks and geese and woods for woodland species – maybe there is one with a bird hide close to you? You might want a zoom lens for this type of photography.

Look for colourful plumages, zoom in on a multicoloured wing, capture interesting behaviour such as courtship, feeding or flying, large gatherings, intimate close-ups and so on. You can include people – seek out a local lake and capture children feeding the ducks, or a heron on a pier next to fishermen, gulls whirling above a fishing harbour, a robin on a gardener’s spade.

Look out for squirrels, hedgehogs, raccoons, rabbits (usually easiest to spot at dawn or dusk, feeding in open spaces or even churchyards), foxes or even deer or bears(?) and of course kangaroos, wombats, wallabies and koalas from Down Under.

Work with the animal and the light – move yourself if it makes a better shot. Keep the background clean and uncluttered, you don’t want distractions. Get down low for unusual angles. Experiment with a tight cropping.  Try for an out of focus background.

Insects and butterflies in particular are best shot as close up as possible. Fill the frame with the subject or an interesting detail. Spend time observing their hovering patches and flight paths. Be patient and choose a subject that doesn’t mind a lens close up to it like a snail or a bee. Play around with angles, light and composition.

Above all, be patient. It might take a while to get the right shot.

In March I’m looking for Wildlife in the Garden

(This month I want to see photos and stories about wildlife in the ‘garden’ – insects, spider, birds, rabbits, hedgehog, fox, snake (!) whatever you can find in your garden, public gardens, lakes, parks. But please not the family dog!)


The Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Garden, London

Designed by architect Gordon Wilson, the Princess of Wales Conservatory was built partly underground in order to be more energy-efficient and easy to maintain. The southern end (warmer) is where you will find towering spikes of echiums and silver agaves from dry tropical regions such as the arid Canary Islands. At the northern end you’ll find hidden species from the moist tropics, including banana, pineapple, pepper and ginger.

And if you are lucky you might see one of the nine water dragons that live here and who provide a natural means of controlling unwanted insects in the conservatory.

Water Dragon

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it MarchWildlife in the Garden
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in April.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.

garden photography: inside the glasshouse

In January I’m looking for a Winter Garden

(This month I want to see photos and stories about winter gardens. You can interpret this any way you want; a garden in winter, winter flowers, or plants in a glasshouse)

This is the Great Glasshouse at the Botanic Garden of Wales. The unusual raindrop-shaped design was the work of world-renowned architects Norman Foster and Partners and it is the largest single span glasshouse in the world.


The plants come from six areas of the world: California, Australia, the Canary Islands, Chile, South Africa and the Mediterranean Basin and the glasshouse is used to protect and conserve some of the most endangered plants on the planet. Continue reading

garden photography: winter garden

In January I’m looking for a Winter Garden

(This month I want to see photos and stories about winter gardens. You can interpret this any way you want; a garden in winter, winter flowers, or plants in a glasshouse)


The Auckland Domain Winter Garden complex in Auckland, New Zealand, is a national treasure. It was designed in the early 1900s in the style of the famous English partnership of Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll and opened in 1913. Rare and spectacular plants in an ever-changing display can be seen in each of the two barrel-vaulted Victorian style glass houses which face out on to an extensive courtyard and sunken pool. One glasshouse contains temperate plants and is not heated and the other contains tropical plants and heated to 28°C. It is free to enter and a lovely place to visit on a chilly winter’s day. Continue reading

December Cheer

xmas collage

Thank you to all in the blogging community who have visited this site and liked and/or commented on my posts over the past year. I am always happy to see you and have a chat and I welcome your input into this blog. Have a lovely happy festive season and a very happy New Year with lots of good health, happiness and peace in 2016. I hope to see you all in the New Year 🙂


Colocasia is a genus of 25 or more species of flowering plants in the family Araceae, native to tropical Polynesia and southeastern Asia. Common names include Elephant-ear, Taro, Cocoyam, Dasheen, Chembu, and Eddoe. Wikipedia

RHS Wisley Glasshouse

For St George’s Day here is another view of one of my favourite English gardens, RHS Wisley in Surrey, the Glasshouse viewed from the Wild Garden.

RHS wisley glass house

Indoors you’ll find colourful intricate flowers
Great orchids we have – they’ll entrance you for hours.
Plus cacti and cycads, bananas and climbers
Staghorn ferns – now they’re really old-timers!
Explore the Rootzone where there’s too much to mention.
Outside, tall alliums grab your attention.
At ‘Wild at Wisley’ let young visitors play
Then refresh yourself at the Glasshouse Café.

(from the Visitors Map – Springtime at Wisley)