The Potting Shed

Inside Granny's potting shed, she held a bunch of pretty Moon Pennies, bundled loosely together quite carelessly and yet each stem had been picked with deep affection and tenderness; a gift for her Mother. A sentiment she would not forget. Granny's floral, yellow apron hangs on the wooden rack, along with a number of gardening tools, an old tin planter, a willow wreath & a large ball of twine. She sits quietly by the little window in the old Queen Anne.

One side of the chair is somewhat faded by the sunlight and loose stitches begin to fray the corners of the arm {she twiddles them in her fingers as she thinks}

The day begins to slowly wane. The air inside the shed is warm and agreeable and the scent of dust and soil mingle together, creating the same comforting, familiar smell that can be found in the tattered pages of old books. The potted seedlings on the bench, flourish in their modest dwelling and the large counter is cluttered with baskets of all shapes and sizes, each filled with lovingly dried flowers. She is content here. It is peaceful. It is homespun, it is Granny’s.

Often in photography there are perfect little places, the most beautifully light filled nooks you can imagine. My mum’s potting shed is one of those lovely dens. The light here is wonderful, all year round and so an obvious choice to photograph. There is something especially comforting about a potting shed. The dusty atmosphere is vaguely visible, tiny particles drift and swirl in the air like fairy dust as small pockets of light burn orange against the wooden panels. The mood could easily be bottled up and labelled with the words "Shed Nostalgia" scrawled lovingly on the front. Inside, the outside barely exists. Only the faint muted sounds of nature can be heard through the glass panes.

I love details in an image, they tell wonderful stories and create a narrative all of their own. Images taken here bring me warm feelings of nostalgia, a deep awareness of being free in the countryside and finding a sense of peace in the shed after a long walk. I find creating a narrative of thoughts in my mind allows me to feel the heart of the image itself. How do I want this photograph to look? I know from my own style I prefer a dark and moody photograph, I like to create richness and depth. The light in the potting shed is perfect. The rays cast shadows in all the right places; the reflection from the window makes the flowers glisten and glow. It’s true, often you are lucky with the light but you can play and manipulate it also, creating wonderful scenes, even in the harshest of conditions. Here I take into consideration the low light and where my subject is sitting, are they moving or still. Are they well lit? I choose settings I feel reflect the mood of the image I want to create. Here my settings were F2.2 and I played with the shutter to slightly underexpose.

The picture above was taken in the Summer and the Moon Pennies ( Ox-Eye Daisies) were gathered by Iris. They grow with such pace & ferocity that it feels as though the moment one is picked another three bloom in its place. I love to read about the history of flowers, their meanings and the folklore surrounding them. Interestingly, in Norse mythology the Daisy is a sacred symbol to Freya. A symbol of love, sensuality, and fertility. It also symbolises the aspect of motherhood and childbirth.

Daisy meanings and symbolism.

  • Love

  • Youth

  • Purity

  • Virginal

  • Innocence

  • Chastity

  • Freshness

  • Fertility

  • Childhood

  • Daintiness

  • Cleanliness

  • Enchanting

  • Motherhood

  • Transformation

The Latin name Leucanthemum is said to have originated from the ancient Greek word ‘leucos’, meaning white.

It was thought to be strongly linked to divination, particularly in France, where it would be used in romantic predictions. These links to divination have filtered down to the modern game of ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ where petals are picked to determine luck in love.

I realise we're slightly out of season discussing the Daisy but they bring so much cheer I don't suppose it matters.

I thought to finish I would share with you some wonderful facts I found all about sheds.

1. The word ‘shed’ originates from the Anglo-Saxon term for ‘shade’

2. Famous writers Rudyard Kipling, Agatha Christie and Roald Dahl all wrote from their sheds.

3. Benjamin Britten’s shed is now a Grade 2 listed building ( This is my favourite fact)

4. There was an ancient Egyptian god named Shed – he was the god of danger, deadly animals and illness

5. 14.20% of brits admit to using their sheds as a hiding place from their families and partners ( My second favourite fact, I can so empathise here)

6. Those who work from a shed have the official title ‘sheddie’

I aspire to be a 'sheddie' I think I could work in a shed for the rest of my life and be quite content.

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