IN THE FIELD: The Ultimate Display


For many years we had a small area in our garden we wanted to devote to spring bulbs. Problem was, we couldn’t decide which variety to plant. We would pour over catalogs hoping they would provide some influence. Taking so long to decide had it’s consequences…we never got any bulbs planted. So we would wait until the next planting season and go through the same scenario again. This went on for several years. Finally we decided to just plant them all.

Just kidding. This is just a very very small portion of the 100,000 spring bulbs that were blooming at Longwood Gardens this spring. In fact, this view is probably only 1% of what was in flower.



ISO 200

cloudy WB


Here is a view of the area called The Idea Garden.



ISO 200

cloudy WB


Here is an even larger view of The Idea Garden. When these photos were taken, it was already noon time and the sun was directly overhead resulting in very harsh light. I was delayed getting to this area because I spent the morning in the Garden Walk. At that time the sun was lower in the sky. I have now come to the conclusion I need a clone. That way I could have photographed both areas under favorable lighting conditions.



ISO 200

cloudy WB

  1. June 9, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Just lovely 🙂

    • June 10, 2013 at 8:50 am

      It really was…overwhelming would be another good descriptive!

  2. June 9, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Really fun to scroll down and see a little more, then a little more until the big picture of glorious colours. Uplifting! So why did you pick cloudy WB on such a blue sky day? To bring out the warmth?

    • June 10, 2013 at 8:55 am

      I was hoping everyone would enjoy viewing the garden this way. I would say I use cloudy WB 99.9% of the time. I like the look that setting gives to images (a bit warmer) as compared to sunny WB.

  3. June 9, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Gorgeous! I haven’t been to Longwood Gardens for many years, but I think it’s time for a return. I love the first photo and the way your eye is drawn in a zigzag up through the colors. Nicely done!

    • June 10, 2013 at 9:01 am

      It was truly amazing to see all those spring bulbs blooming at the same time. I do think you should take a drive up to Longwood and bring your camera, extra data cards and spare battery…you’ll need them!

  4. June 9, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Ha! I just re-read the last paragraph-think that answers my question.

  5. June 9, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    That garden is incredibly beautiful!

    • June 10, 2013 at 9:04 am

      I have never seen so many varieties, colors, and shapes of tulips all blooming at the same time…it was like being in the Netherlands but on a much smaller scale!

  6. June 10, 2013 at 1:59 am

    What gorgeous photos, of a stunning garden! I don’t think I have ever seen so many different bulbs, all in one place! That must have been a challenge for exposure. I agree with you that you need a clone to get the most out of morning lighting – at least on a fine summer day! By noon here, any background has disappeared into haze and the wonderful greens have become misty.

    • June 10, 2013 at 9:12 am

      It was a sight to see. What I liked was how the really packed the beds with bulbs. Before I went there I read on their website they had planted over 100,000 bulbs. I thought “okay that’s pretty many” and then I walked through the entrance gate and had to pick my jaw up from the ground LOL. As the day progressed it was best to take photos of plants in the shade…the sunlight was too strong with the cloudless sky.Can’t wait till next year’s show!

  7. June 10, 2013 at 9:44 am

    what a beautiful garden… Thank you dear David, love, nia

    • June 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      It truly was a sight to to see. I wonder how long it took to plant all the bulbs!

  8. June 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Oh my goodness. What an amazing display! That first photo is stunning.

    • June 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you Lee, it really was overwhelming…color everywhere.

  9. June 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Beautiful colours. It must be a lovely place to visit.

    • June 11, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      It is a wonderful place to visit. It’s always changing and the indoor gardens are spectacular.
      Snoop around their website…plan to spend some time…you’ll be there a while!

  10. June 11, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Those flowers are just lovely! Wow!

    • June 12, 2013 at 9:04 am

      That’s what I said as I walked through the gate and into the gardens….wowwwww…

  11. June 11, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Tiptoe, through the tulips…. 🙂 Gorgeous compositions of color David!

    • June 12, 2013 at 9:07 am

      For sure! I never could grasp what 100,000 of anything was until that day! Thanks Donna, next year I’m going back several times!

  12. June 12, 2013 at 5:05 am

    OMG this is amazing! It would be hard to leave this place, so pretty 🙂

    • June 12, 2013 at 9:08 am

      It truly was amazing, and this is just some of the outdoor gardens. We never made it to the conservatories. You could spend days here and never see everything!

      • July 8, 2013 at 1:50 am

        I think you should go back to the conervatories for some hidden gems 🙂

  13. June 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Unbelievable, David. Stunning shots of a stunning display. Since my experience is that tulips either multiply or peter out, I imagine that ALL of the bulbs have to be replanted each fall.

    • June 20, 2013 at 9:26 am

      That’s been my experience also. We had heard that the grounds crew were pulling all the bulbs you saw in these three photos the following day to get ready for the summer display. That would be a monumental task for sure!

      • June 20, 2013 at 9:41 am

        But they look like they’re at peak bloom! Almost seems like a crime not to wait a week! Also, since the foliage doesn’t get a chance to mature, the bulbs won’t bloom again, so can’t be used again in the fall. What a budget! Also, think if you had gone 2 days later!

  14. June 29, 2013 at 9:49 am

    That’s a heavenly place! Thanks for sharing these vibrant wonderful tulips. 🙂

  15. June 29, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Heavenly is a perfect way to describe this place. If you ever get to the states, it’s a must see!

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