A Walk in my Garden

A few years back a friend said to me that paper was dead. We have all this wonderful technology – all books will be digital and paper will soon be redundant. I couldn’t agree less. There’s nothing to beat snuggling up on a comfy sofa with a much-loved book, running your fingers over the paper and turning each page. It might be an old photo album full of fading photographs of great and even great-great-grandparents, a novel, a book of poetry, a family bible or a journal. Words and images on paper – why would we ever want to be without that magic.

My special books are albums & books full of photographs of my parents, my children, grandchildren, weddings, Christmases with the family, holidays and my friends. I’ve been making photo books for many years now, and a couple of years ago I decided to make one using photos of the flowers and plants in my garden. It seemed logical to get those favourite plants, photos and moments into a sturdy book of garden memories.

I know that some people are happy to keep photographs on phones and on media cards, on tablets and computers but nothing gives me more pleasure than turning mine into a book of my own that I can browse through during cold winter months when the garden, like me, is mostly in hibernation.

In winter, when it’s too cold or stormy or snowy to go outside, you’ll find me happily spending long hours at my computer, moving digital photographs into software that will be uploaded to a website where it will find its way to the print department. Once I’ve clicked ‘upload’ and ‘pay, I know that approximately 10 days later my book will arrive from the Netherlands. As the delivery day draws closer I find it really hard to stop myself from going to the window umpteen times to watch for the delivery van drawing up at the door.

In a way, the photo book is a type of journal, a reminder of favourite plants and shots. Some plants are still growing in the garden, others have vanished or been moved elsewhere in the borders, and it’s always nice to have a visual reminder of them. The book will mean little to anyone else, but to me, in the same way that my family photos are precious, this book is also a little part of my own family history.

I’d love to be able to persuade more people to take their photos off their devices and turn them into a real, touchable product, something that can be passed on through generations. Once Christmas is over, I’ll start another and, since many of my favourites are already on Six on Saturday, choosing should take less time this year.

Perhaps in many years to come a great-great-great-grandchild will have one of my books in their hands and say, “Hey look here, this was our great-great-great-Gran’s garden. Cool”. 😊

23 thoughts on “A Walk in my Garden

    1. Thanks, Hortus, I’ve stuck with the same company for years because I’m happy with the quality of books they produce. It’s not overly expensive either (I wait until there’s a good discount) – choosing a good quality paper is important.

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    1. I have quite a backlog of photobooks I need to start working on, and I’m hoping that this winter will give me the time I need to tackle some of them. I like your idea of using your photos to make a diary. 😊

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  1. I love your garden books. I do this for family holidays but not for the garden. Sometimes I wake up worrying that all my digital photos haven’t been saved properly and that they’re all lost. Having some books would be a good idea but it’s also why I like doing my garden blog – it’s a nice record of my garden over the last 3 years.

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    1. Thanks Katharine. I’ve also had the same worries about my photographs, so have them backed up on EHD’s and also on a photo hosting site where I can share them with family. But I love my books best of all! 😁

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  2. Certainly, a book is a far superior way to enjoy photographs but I feel I simply have too many and would need a library to accommodate them all.

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    1. The trick is to be ruthless Paddy. 😁 Only the absolute best or best-loved shots get through to the final selection that goes in a book. And if you have thousands of favourites, then you divide them into seasons, plant types or years, etc.

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  3. Oh I couldn’t agree with you more Catherine 😄 I must admit that I have a Kindle which is so convenient for taking away from home and has been invaluable this year when I have not been able to get to the library. A book gives me so much more pleasure though. Your photographic record book of the garden is a lovely idea and as you suggest could become a precious and well loved family heirloom in the future. Which company do you use? I can imagine your excitement waiting for your delivery to arrive. I enjoy family history research during these dark nights and amongst my most loved possessions are photos of grandparents (particularly grandfathers who both sadly died the year I was born) great grandparents, and other relatives that have come to me whilst my parents were alive and since. I often wonder what family photographic records will be inherited in this digital age? 😢

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    1. I use blurb.co.uk Anna. Because I’ve always been happy with their print quality I haven’t looked around much at any other site (and there are loads nowadays). I also wait until I get a discount that I’m happy with before uploading.

      I do family history too! 😁 Though I’m stuck right now and won’t go back to our local family history centre until the pandemic is over. My ancestry is from Scotland and Ireland, but there comes a point where records simply don’t exist. That’s another addictive pastime!

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  4. Your photos and garden books are beautiful. Books, I believe, like a pencil, will not disappear. They are personal and dear. A couple years ago I took a photography class. I shall not forget the instructor said that a photo is not complete unless it is printed and shared. Great advice! Our one son who owns a photography shop says this generation is the ‘lost’ one because of the very reason you mentioned—folks are not printing photos. You have inspired me to check into making some photo books. Your photos are stunning. Thank you for sharing your ideas and photos.

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