We made the decision a while back to stop mowing our lawn. Not just for the month of May (#noMowMay) but for the whole year. We do cut sections of it back over time just to allow new growth, but as a rule, it’s a wild meadow around our house. Despite mild allegations from friends and relatives that it’s laziness (I quite enjoy the actual process of mowing), it’s an environmental decision and one we are very glad we’ve made. In the last couple of days alone I’ve looked out at our relatively small garden and seen all manner of birds (including goldfinches, greenfinches, more starlings than you can shake a pointy thing at), wild rabbits, badgers, pheasants and field mice. We’re pretty sure there’s foxes in there as well on occasion, but they are sneaky.
Every year, I go out and buy a load of boxes of wildflower seeds to sow. Unfortunately this year we didn’t plan properly and rather than properly sowing (cutting the grass back hard and raking the seeds in) we just threw them over the shorter patches of garden, end result was of course the birds took most of them and very few grew at all. A lesson for next year.
What we do have though now is a waist high meadow with a mix of grasses, all now with marvellous seed heads to admire. Each year, I like to collect one of each of the wildflowers that grows in the garden to photograph, as we have so few this year, I’ve gone for grass stalks instead. Which has proven far more interesting than expected.
I have to admit though, that when out walking I spot a stalk in someone else’s garden that I’ve not got yet, I have a weird urge to jump their fence and steal a sample.
Here’s a selection of the grasses in our tiny meadow garden.
Here’s a few items that are not grass.
I used two different lighting styles for these, some were backlit using a light-field technique to bring out a glow. This works really well for creating haloes/silhouettes but also on more translucent subjects it can show a beautiful glow. The rest were shot with very flat lighting, a large softbox, very close on the left with a reflector (a sheet of foamboard) on the right handside, both are only just out of shot.
The trick I worked out halfway through shooting for the less sturdy stalks was to hang them upside down and let gravity hold them in place then flip the photo.
Anyway, I’m off out round the housing estate with a set of scissors.