A year in flowers on Instagram

Picture of the deep pink heart of a peace rose, one of my #floweraday photos from Instagram

Peace rose in our front bed last summer

On Tuesday I woke up excited because it was exactly a year since I started posting pictures of a flower a day over on Instagram. You can see my feed here. I put up a copy of the very first photograph of fluttering aquilegia and then checked my other social media.

To find shock, horror and sorrow about the Manchester bombing.

Somehow a few photos of daisies and dandelions seemed utterly insignificant. My thoughts are with the victims, their friends and families, and all the emergency services and people of Manchester who rushed to their support. In the middle of tragedy, it is truly uplifting to see a community standing together.

I have tried to answer my children’s questions, and encourage them to focus on all the people who helped. But when my daughter asked why it happened, I had no words.

Perhaps, when the world outside is a sad and frightening place, it is OK to look at the small details around us. To take comfort from moments of beauty, faced with shocking news elsewhere.

Posting a photograph of a flower every day – or fruit, vegetables, leaves or trees, I rather stretched the definition – has brought great pleasure over the last year.

As I wrote soon after starting, it has helped me learn which plants we actually have in our garden.

Previous post: A flower a day over on Instagram

In swapping our patio in London for much more space in Suffolk, we suddenly inherited an entire garden. Posting a #flowerday encouraged me to accost experienced gardeners to identify specific plants. Rather than coping with a fire hose of information, I’ve been able to focus on a single plant at a time. The photos and information on the RHS website has also been a great help, both in confirming vague suspicions, and correcting me when I was way off the mark. Any remaining errors are purely my own!

I’ve enjoyed taking the photographs, trying to find good angles and images. My children remain amused when I suddenly dash out of the house if the sun shines, or grind to a halt in the middle of walk. Sometimes they’ll even get involved by pointing out new plants, or commenting on pictures.

Photographing flowers has made me spend more time outside. Nowadays I quite literally stop to smell the roses. Scrolling back through my feed after a year, I can see the progress of the seasons, and look forward to what might appear when.

It’s made me much more aware of my surroundings here and in the wider world.  Most of the pictures taken in our garden, but I’ve also included photos from when we were out and about on holidays and outings. The flower photos have become a prism through which to view our lives, from Easter egg hunts in Dedham to summer holidays in Dorset, parties to work trips.  A kind of diary in flower form, full of memories to look back on.

Social media gets a bad press, for making people discontented and depressed when they view the perfect lives people present online. But on Instagram I have found like-minded souls who post similar pictures of flowers, or other natural beauty from stunning sunsets to amazing landscapes. Scrolling through my Instagram feed can be calming and uplifting instead. I also value every single interaction, the likes and comments from people all round the world. When the common currency is images, language is much less relevant.

For us, part of moving from London to Suffolk was trying to step away from the drive to consume, and focus on time together rather than money. Posting flower pictures is such a simple thing, but has enriched my life without costing a single penny.

After a year of flower photos, I’m still keen to continue, but I’d like to include more of our lives. I already post occasional extra images, from a comedy duck to frugal cooking. I’m hoping to include more pictures of our surroundings, here at home and in Hadleigh.

To celebrate a year of #floweraday, here is a round up of 14 of my favourite images, whittled down with great difficulty. They aren’t necessarily the ones with the highest number of likes, but the images I liked best.

Redcurrants

This was a bowl of redcurrants, given to me by a lady at gardening club, and decanted into a charity shop bowl. The photo turned out more successful than my attempt at redcurrant jelly, which had no desire to set.

Magnolia

I took a whole load of photos of the glorious Mapperton Gardens when we were on holiday in Dorset last summer, but I particularly like the light and shade on this magnolia.

Oriental plane tree

Looking up inside the twisting branches of an oriental plane tree, during a garden party in Cambridge

Nigella

Love in a mist seeds heads scattered on the hall floor. I liked the contrasting textures and shapes.

Acer

Loved this picture of the acer by the front door for the colours, and the sunshine and shadows catching the raindrops.

Callicarpa

Back in Cambridge, for these surreal brilliant purple berries, such a contrast with the chapel wall in the background.

Smoke bush

More rain drops, this time on the smoke bush outside our kitchen window. Chosen for the vivid almost abstract pattern.

Eucalyptus

View of the sunrise on Christmas Eve, seen over our garden wall, through the branches of the eucalyptus tree. So early only my son was awake. I carted him outside to see the swirling sky, carrying him in pyjamas because he didn’t fancy putting his wellies on

Conkers

Close up of a haul of glossy conkers, when we went to visit friends in Wanstead.

Frost

Sun rising on a misty, frosty morning, when I was out running along the Hadleigh Railway Walk. Given how I baked running in the sun this morning, I’d almost swap it for the winter chill.

Daffodil

I do post a lot of photos of single flowers as well as the close ups and landscapes. Here’s one of the first signs of spring, a daffodil back lit by strong sun.

Iris

My son was very proud when the bulb he planted actually flowered, and I love the light and shadows in this corner of our kitchen.

Snake’s head fritillary

I love all frittillaries, but this image against the primroses reminded me of some Rennie Mackintosh works painted not far away in Walberswick

Cow parsley

This is a very recent image, of sunlight streaming over our garden wall to capture some errant cow parsley. Weeds are only plants growing in places you don’t want.I wanted to celebrate that even something as simple as cow parsley can be beautiful too.

For further photos, do nip over to Instagram and follow me there: https://www.instagram.com/muchmore_less/

Now over to you – any thoughts on #floweraday? What’s your Instagram account, so I can stop by and say hi?

My Money Cottage

 

4 Comments

  1. May 25, 2017 / 9:58 pm

    You take a mean photo Faith. They’re fab!

    • Faith
      May 26, 2017 / 6:26 pm

      Thanks Lesley, glad you liked them!

  2. July 19, 2017 / 10:11 am

    These are truly stunning photographs, I think my favourite is the magnolia, it’s simple, understated, yet incredibly elegant.

  3. July 20, 2017 / 11:40 am

    Some of these colours are incredible, you have a real talent! #moneycantbuy

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