Garden Photo of the Day

Cultivating Art in the Garden

By: Kim Charles

Swallowtail Butterfly on the dahlia 'Myrtle’s Folly'. 

James Ottobre captures both the light and color in his organic garden with an artist's eye.

"My organic garden is in Inverness, California, and the total planted area is one acre.  The landscape includes both flowers and vegetables. I approach the garden as a seasonal art installation, looking for the most vibrant colors available for each season. The beds are arranged with vegetables and flowers for the most visual impact using both heirloom and hybrid varieties. The garden brings me new experiences every day. As the sun passes over, the light changes in the garden, so I keep the camera nearby to capture the mood and light transition."

Have a garden you'd like to share? Email 5-10 photos and a brief story about your garden to [email protected]. Please include where you are located!

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don't have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

Follow us: @finegardening on Twitter | FineGardeningMagazine on Facebook @finegardening on Instagram



House and Garden

Oaks and Hydrangeas.

Seed Pods of the Allium Schuberti

Trellis of Tromboncino Squash

House and Garden with Stairway

Lillies and Roses

Ginger with Lilium 'Kentucky"


View Comments


  1. mjensen 09/11/2017


  2. Maggieat11 09/11/2017

    James, you certainly do have an "artist's eye". Your photos are awesome and looks like your gardening skills are as well! Thank you for sharing!

  3. petebloom 09/11/2017

    James, thanks for your artful photos, really moving.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 09/11/2017

    Hi, James, your allium seedpod picture has me celebrating the 4th of July all over is spectacular! I guess as a CA gardener, you get to stay busy with your planting all 4 seasons...are any of the above photos from winter?

    1. user-6536305 09/11/2017

      Yes, James, I also would like to know if any of the photos are from winter? Best yet, would please send some photos of your winter garden?

  5. user-7008881 09/11/2017

    Absolutely gorgeous photos!

  6. user-6841468 09/11/2017

    beautiful photography and lovely plant combinations! thanks for sharing.

  7. wittyone 09/11/2017

    What a lovely pairing of the lilies and roses.

    1. user-7008585 09/11/2017

      That's my favorite as well!

  8. user-4691082 09/11/2017

    James, you are a gifted artist, both in gardening and photography. That second photo looks like it came out of heaven! I can't choose which one I like the best- they are all spectacular. What zone are you?

  9. btucker9675 09/11/2017


  10. cynthiamccain 09/11/2017

    Gorgeous photos, James! Your garden is saturated in beautiful color!

  11. sheila_schultz 09/11/2017

    Vibrant is the perfect word to describe the visual feel of your garden. Your garden is enchanting as are your photographs. I understand why it gives you such pleasure and also gives your camera a good workout over the growing season! Beautiful!

  12. Sunshine111 09/11/2017

    I am loving the vibrancy of all of the colors and textures. I have a lady slipper orchid to and really love it. Great job! I love all the pictures!

  13. LaurelEm 09/11/2017

    This is just gorgeous. My favorites are, well all of them, but I love the coppery rose with the lilies and the way the light caught the seed pods of the allium.

  14. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 09/11/2017

    Stunning gardens and photos! Thank you for sharing your talents with us.

  15. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 09/11/2017

    Good morning, James. I love that you think of your garden as an art installation because it definitely takes the eye of an artist to create something this beautiful. Your camera skills aren't too shabby, either. The rose and lily pairing are spectacular as is the lady slipper but it really all looks great and must provide you with endless hours of enjoyment. Thanks for the Mon. eye opener.

  16. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/11/2017

    Seasonal art installation is so appropos. What a great term and some great images of your handiwork.

  17. user-6536305 09/11/2017

    Love the orchids. Well, in California, you could grow almost everything outside all year round. Envy your growing conditions James. How did you take the Seed Pods of the Allium Schuberti photo? Everything just so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Cenepk10 09/11/2017

    Wow... art installation, indeed ! Love them all - hydrangea with oak & the foxgloves ! Talking to my heart. As I sit out the remains of Irma blowing like a mad woman outside- this was a welcome, beautiful diversion & I thank you.

  19. Cenepk10 09/11/2017

    I also loved the copper rose/ lilly combo. Yummy

  20. user-6536305 09/11/2017

    I also like to know if you actually eat the squash? Thanks!

  21. schatzi 09/11/2017

    Wow! Vibrant, gorgeous, great color and plant combinations, and spectacular photography. Please send more anytime.

  22. user-4297063 09/11/2017

    Wow, this is awesome James, artist as well as photographer..!! so nice..

  23. mhebb 09/11/2017

    Wow, James. Stunning garden and amazing photos. I love drawing and painting, but never got very good at either and then decided that I wanted to make the garden the place where I do my artistic thing so I get that. And you definitely have an artist's gift in the garden. The lilies and roses are perfect together- such a great contrast of form and shape with the color marrying them together. And the orchid in that photos looks like its being dropped down from heaven. Thanks so much for sharing these photos.

  24. Catasetumkid 09/11/2017

    Is that Paphiopedilum Julius? Nice Slipper! Your garden looks terrific too. ;-)

  25. erla 09/11/2017

    All I can say is "Wow!" Thanks for sharing such inspirational beauty.

  26. user-7008735 09/11/2017

    Very beautiful, James! You've created a flower-filled fantasy that just happens to be real.

  27. GrannyCC 09/12/2017

    You have a true artist's eye! Absolutely stunning.

  28. user-7007498 09/12/2017

    Good evening, James. Enjoyed your photos, especially the one labeled springtime. Loved the meadow appearance. Great collection of plants. Thanks for sharing.

  29. tennisluv 09/12/2017

    Good morning, James, a day late. Thanks to a 'small' storm named Irma, I was a bit more into watching the weather conditions than enjoying the pictures of your garden. You are definitely an artist in your garden and with the camera. I am amazed at the shots you have taken: sun rays creating a mystical affect around the lady slipper, the star-spangled fireworks of the aliums, the rhythm of the roses & lilies, and tropical feel of the green gourds. Not to forget the just pretty flower beds you have created. Coveting your lovely blue hydrangeas.

  30. thevioletfern 09/19/2017

    I love the lighted moods and richness of color you have captured with an amazingly artistic eye. Feeling the magic!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest