The Photography of Darren Higgins
|The border serves as a buffer to the road in a part of the yard that was pointless as lawn. Photo by Darren Higgins|
We had such a warm response to Michael Tortorello's article in The New York Times last week that I've decided to share a few photos taken by DC-based photographer Darren Higgins that did not make the article. While I did my best to avoid coverage of the less-than-flattering aspects of the house and garden (they are legion), both Michael and Darren Higgins thought the full context of the garden's relationship to three roads was worth revealing. It was a horrifying thought to me. Even in my wild fantasies of glowing media coverage, the subject of my garden on the bus route was not quite the angle I imagined. So here is a last peek at the garden before I hide it for another four years.
|Jude tears across the front yard. Photo by Darren Higgins|
On the day of the photo-shoot in late October, I gave Darren a 7 am tour of the garden. I showed Darren the two or three angles that it was perhaps possible to shoot the garden without getting a road, car, or our house in the background. He politely acknowledged my input and then went to work, generally ignoring my advice and seeking to tell the larger story: that this is a garden surrounded on all sides by roads. Darren placed a ladder out in the road and even climbed on our roof. Darren did a masterful job of not just getting interesting angles, but of telling the story of this garden, its context, and how we use it.
But after seeing his photos, I realize Darren was right. All gardens are a reaction to their contexts. Instead of being surrounded by forest, or the ocean, or a charming architectural backdrop, the context for our house is the street. The placement of the garden, the selection of species, and the character of the planting is all about buffering and even embracing its proximity to roads.
|Gravel path and planting. Photo by Darren Higgins|