In this all consuming passion to make PhotoBotanic into a self-publishing site it is sometimes easy to forget the core business is licensing photos.  And sometimes the best way to make a sale is to talk to an editor and explain why a picture is just perfect for them.


Front yard California native plant garden. Design Carol Bornstein

An editor from a wildlife magazine wants to do a story on gardening for habitat and wants a house with curb appeal.  To me that means native plants, but the editor thinks native plant gardens are messy with no curb appeal.

I have seen MANY native plant gardens and they are ALL messy by “traditional” metrics.  Many however, are lovely when in the hands of a designer who knows the plants and adds a bit of structure and form.  There is a fine line between messy and lovely, and much depends on the eye of the beholder.  It is part of my work as a garden photographer “to change the aesthetic of what we expect to see in a garden photo” in order to educate new and would be gardeners what a garden can look like.

Anyone reading a wildlife magazine would look at a “traditional” front yard with manicured lawn, lollipop tree, and hard pruned borders and be sick knowing the wasted space and resources. There certainly ARE native plant gardens that are a mess, where the gardener, often a native plant nut (I luv ‘em), had no clue how to organize the garden.

So I pointed the editor to a gallery of native plant gardens in the Archives and she quickly decided the wonderful Santa Barbara garden designed by Carol Bornstein was actually a beautiful a garden by the standards of a wildlife person.  I happen to think it is beautiful by any standard, but sometimes the best way to make a sale is to agree with the editor’s choice.