#1309. A Rose by any other name

By Nancee Rostad | Art & Creativity

Aug 30

While visiting my favorite beach town, I was delighted by the sight of an old-fashioned cottage garden designed to lead one to the entrance of an equally charming store. Billowing mounds of white daisies, stunning vintage roses, pert pansies, and raspberry-hued hydrangeas filled the 15 x 20 ft. area with color & beauty.


Since I usually visit this town during late fall through early spring I had never paid much attention to the garden area, but had merely noted the bird bath and garden statuary placed here and there amongst leafless branches.


This day was clear and sunny with tourists filling the streets, as well as the beautiful garden, so I decided to visit early the next morning for a “private” photo session. Morning dawned overcast and warm, perfect for a garden shoot. Many of the blooms were still dotted with dew as I sought an ideal floral subject with which to begin. Gratefully, I was accompanied only by a slight breeze and the occasional caw of a nearby crow.


First I tried the smooshing method (patent pending!) of gently pressing my cellphone into each flower, which was somewhat successful, but not exactly what I had hoped for. Hovering the phone closely above the blooms in a sort of macro method produced a more satisfactory result, thankfully. I spent an hour or so there each morning for three days, including the day I had planned to head home early. It was so blissful to be in such a quiet & enchanting place with absolutely no one to ask me what I was doing, or to offer unwanted advice, or to simply stare at me as I worked my way through the beautiful garden.


The resulting images of lovely pink & apricot colored heirloom roses please me a great deal, in part due to their painterly qualities and also because of their very abstract nature. The best of both worlds, in my humble opinion. I chose to use part of Shakespeare’s quote from Romeo & Juliet as my post title because somehow it fit perfectly.


All images were taken with my iPhone 13 Pro. Post production included some image cropping and a few slight exposure adjustments. All color is as photographed and has not been enhanced in any way. No filters were used for the frankly (and desirably) soft appearance (otherwise known as “out of focus”).


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  • PaulB says:

    Wonderful Nancy!

    I can see why you spent your mornings focused on your painterly subject.

    Please pardon the pun, it seemed to fit.


  • Michael Ulm says:

    A beautiful series enhanced further by the tale of your experience making it. I often wander our back yard garden with a camera…….sometimes making photos, sometimes just being.

    • Nancee Rostad says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Michael! Gardens are equally wonderful for photography as well as for simply wandering and just being, as you said.

  • Paul Perton says:

    Great series N – didn’t realise until I was well into it that you’d used a phone to shoot these. Didn’t know they have a posterisation button these days!

    Jokes aside – hope you’re getting these printed and mounted?

    • Nancee Rostad says:

      Thanks, Paul. I always have my phone at hand, and only have the camera from time to time – and, more importantly, my phone can get very, very close and function! My camera doesn’t do the same job. I probably will print some of them since I find them very calming to look at.

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Oh Nancee – you’ve raised the bar way too high, for me to be able to keep up!

    You are going to have to go back and finish the job – you say it’s 300 square feet, but so far you’ve only covered about 72 square inches. There’s not yet a sign of any of the hydrangeas, and I adore hydrangeas – I have three old wooden tubs (the bottom halves of some old wine casks) in my small courtyard garden, so that I can have a pink, a white and a blue hydrangea, to remind me of the tricolore.

    I guess my tiny garden is a little more than 300 square feet – it’s about 70 square metres, whatever that means in feet & inches! – but cleverly laid out with the paving, steps etc to reduce the actual garden area and avoid wasting water unnecessarily on a larger area of actual garden. I’m cheating a little in my old age, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen which looks out onto the area in the carport, so I’ve added a bench about 10 metres long, on jarrah planks about 4 or 5 cm thick, and filled it with a selection of pot plants. One’s a rather spectacular bonsai, the rest are mostly bromeliads, and I’m about to fill the space above them with a selection of hanging basket plants, dribbling down about them.

    With occasional orchids, including one miniature forest floor orchid – the flower was only about 4 or 5 centimetres tall, but I have a foot of the top half of the flower on the kitchen wall, enlarged to about 12 or 15 times the size it was in real life!

    I do love your roses. The previous house had a wide selection of vintage roses (as well a a couple of rhododendrons and several bird baths!), but here there’s only space for four climbing roses (vintage ones!), clambering all over the front of Janie’s studio at the back of the courtyard. They form part of my measures to deal with the heat of the sun, during summer months, reducing the need for air conditioning. Vintage roses generally have more perfume, even though some decry them as not looking quite so . . . whatever it is they don’t look like!

    • Nancee Rostad says:

      Your garden sounds lovely, Jean Pierre! Wish I could photograph it – although I’d need many more days to cover it. I also love hydrangeas, in fact, I consider them my spirit flower since, like them, I don’t like too much sun and I wilt in the heat or when lacking water. I had never seen hydrangeas of that color before – just like crushed raspberries. I did photograph them, but since the blooms were so dense the individual flowery bits didn’t translate that well to macro shooting – at least the way I did it.
      Thanks for taking the time to check out my post.

  • Kristian Wannebo says:

    Thanks, Nancee!
    I’m really enjoying those!
    You DO find those details…
    Just lovely!

  • John Wilson says:

    Nancee, this is Photographic Crak!! I could get addicted to this in a heartbeat!

    Well, Done Milady!!

  • Pascal Ravach says:

    Simplicity, serenity, serendipity, poetry… and imagination 🙂
    What a wonderful reminder about “the beauty is in the eye”
    You seem to always connect to “the dream”… it feels good, thanks Nancy

  • Sean says:

    Super, creative, artistic and interpretative work Nancy. I’m with Pascal on his words, too. It’s not what one looks at it’s what one sees, and this particular series of yours is proof positive of that. Well, done. Regards Sean.

    • Nancee Rostad says:

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Sean! I’m always grateful when someone takes the time to look at my DS posts and leaves a comment as well.

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