I have just finished processing images of some domestic Birmingham gardens maintained by the lovely Lupin Gardens. I took the photographs last week grabbing the sunshine between the grey skies and showers.
I feel very lucky to be able to have a peep at other people's gardens, spaces usually hidden behind houses, fences and hedges. And I hope the owners like people to have a look because although at times perfect private spaces gardens are surely also there to be seen and shared. And even when maintained and designed by others they still bear the mark of the people who use them - perhaps in the choice of plants, or a garden building, a bird feeder, a piece of garden sculpture or furniture.
Taking photos of gardens often involves having to find and then push open that side door or gate which sticks a bit or creaks on its hinges or has been left unbolted especially for you. It feels a bit uncomfortable, like you are intruding or breaking in. And often when you push open that door or gate and walk round to the back of the house you can find yourself stepping into another world, a space that from the other side of that door you would never know existed. Sometimes these are large spaces full of mature trees and rolling lawns, sometimes small rectangles with narrow borders and pots but they always make me stop and look again. They are breathing spaces. They have colour and scent. They have movement and shape. They have life.