I have to profess a strong bias towards this garden as I’ve got to know the owner, Sue Beesley, quite well and some of my photographs are on display in the tea rooms. I’ve taken lots of pictures over the last three years but I won’t cheat – it will be treated just like all the other gardens and photographed this Summer once again. Today’s visit was purely to the bluebell woods adjacent to Sue’s garden. The bluebells have flowered late this year and I wanted to get them at their best. With the weather looking like it all goes down hill after today I thought I would make the most of a postponed job and some lovely Spring sunshine (typical that it wasn’t like this during yesterday’s bank holiday).

The bluebell wood is accessed by a path across a field by the carpark. This field becomes a wild flower meadow in early Summer and there are already signs of the pleasures to come, with little yellow buds visible through the grass. The garden and nursery are closed on Monday and Tuesday so I was completely alone in the woods, apart from the sound of boat owners calling to each other as they drifted along the nearby canal. I could just see their heads over the hedges as they floated past – I wonder what they made of me lying face down amongst the bluebells!

It’s not that easy to get good pictures of bluebells, well I don’t think so anyway. Wide angle shots of the woodland carpeted with blue can tend to look a bit messy, as bluebells grow in the wild and all sorts of other plants, weeds, branches and broken twigs litter the ground, unlike a carefully tended flower bed. I decided to select something else of interest in the landscape and show how the clumps of bluebells contrasted and complimented it. The wood has several spectacular fallen tree trunks, which have lain there for some time and have become part of the woodland floor, overgrown with moss. I also had a little play with my lens baby – this mimics the effect of a tilt and shift lens – keeps an area in focus whilst bending and blurring other areas. A bit like squinting your eyes and seeing the world a bit differently!
I find it much easier to shoot close ups of flowers, experimenting with different depths of field and playing around with the shapes, patterns and colours of the fore and backgrounds.
I really enjoyed my hour of escapism and can highly recommend a stroll through the woods at this time of year, with or without a camera. Bluebell Cottage Gardens is hosting a bluebell painting workshop tomorrow – be interesting to see the outcome of that.
Bluebell Cottage Gardens
By Jane Burkinshaw. Share this post by clicking on one of the Share buttons on the right hand side. I’d love to hear your comments too!

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