by ESP on August 10, 2010 · 11 comments

This months http://www.gardeninggonewild.com/?page_id=13248 photography competition will be judged by Allan Mandell, the theme is: On The Road Again”

“This is what I am looking for: that choice image you discovered when you were out there on unfamiliar ground with an open mind and open eyes, when you were far away from home or close to where you live. But you still sought out a garden, other than your own, to reveal the soul of the place you were in. Every culture on earth has a way of expressing its essence through a sacred spot, or garden. Maybe your farthest travels have been a few hour’s drive away, or maybe they have been long plane-flights away, no matter. Let me see the beauty you found when you were way out there, tuned into the universal language of the garden.  Let me see your treasures from the road.”

This shot was taken last year on a visit to my homeland and family. This is the stark, gnarled and storybook understory of a particularly old stand of rhododendron shrubs on the grounds of Hoddom Castle Estate in the borders of Scotland, a magical place.

This scene would make a great film set…I think Helena Bonham Carter would be right at home under these invasive bushes?

Oh you wouldn’t? …Sorry Helena.

There really was a fantasy world underneath that light draining canopy.

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1 TexasDeb August 11, 2010 at 8:10 am

Just the right amount of “spooky” to send a welcomed chill down the spine. Best of luck in the contest (though going by past results your skills will obviate the need for that!).

2 ESP August 11, 2010 at 8:53 am

Thanks TD.
These rhododendron trees were really amazing and as you can see…huge. They line the small road that leads up to the castle and campground.
Quite spooky indeed.

3 Giri August 11, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Wooow, amazing and spooky

Yes…I would not want to be under here at night…oh who am I kidding! (canines snap out-True Blood fashion)

4 Laura August 11, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Wild! I love the picture. Not only is your kid priceless but the legs of the Rhodo’s are stunning! Good luck with the contest!

5 ESP August 11, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Hi Laura.
It was wild, the twisted limbs went on as far as you could see!

6 Diana August 12, 2010 at 8:40 am

Fantastic photo! definitely a winner.

7 ESP August 12, 2010 at 8:44 am

Glad you like it Diana.

8 healingmagichands August 18, 2010 at 5:59 pm

That is a great picture! I had no idea that rhododendrons would make such a gnarly forest. The little girl is perfect.

9 ESP August 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Yes they do get massive and are very invasive, killing most natives that cannot survive in the light deprived understory. These massive plants are amazing in bloom though.

She was in Hogwarts heaven under there!

10 Caroline August 20, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Another winner, for certain! You certainly know how to capture a mood. Good luck in the contest!

11 ESP August 20, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Thanks Caroline…and good luck to you too!
What an under”story”…ahem.

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