This morning I visited the incredible garden of Aaron Baker and Michael McMahill in Oklahoma City as part of the Garden Writers Association annual symposium tours.Â What a pleasant surprise upon exiting our tour bus to encounter this delightful small garden in the middle of the continent. Everywhere we looked there were tasteful touches of whimsey, appropriate integration of art and humor, good choices of plants, and an abiding good taste. Aaron and Michael were gracious hosts as busloads of garden writers trouped through their private back yard on an otherwise quiet Sunday morning.
Touring gardens with hundreds of other garden communicators presents special challenges to the photographer.Â Particularly, how to keep parts of bodies out of the frame and staying out of the way of other photographers in the group. Inevitably some degree of compromise (and a lot of patience) is required. Some photographers give up and don’t bother, but I find that the level of excitement and enthusiasm from working at a “speed photography” pace can pay off with some nice images.
The vignette in the photo above is just a tiny bit of the garden. Here a collection of containers with tropical-look foliage frames a pair of chaise lounges.Â Just out of sight to the left was a bubbling hot tub sunken into the deck and behind that a covered outdoor dining room. In the front yard the couple had placed several unusual gourds and pumpkins among succulents and other foliage plants to begin to give an autumn feel to the garden. The garden was a wonderful example of what creative people can accomplish in a small space and without extravagant sums of cash.