This Week's Podcast: Ken replays His Natural Companion
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My guest on the show this week is fine art photographer Ellen Hoverkamp. I met Ellen several years ago and was immediately struck by the depth, beauty and personality of her pictures. Ellen has been immortalizing plants grown by her neighbors and gardener friends since 1997. She travels in a minivan with a large cooler in the back filled with glass jars, water and a bag of ice to transport specimens safely from gardens to her studio where she creates unparalleled images of plants on an oversized, 12” x 17” flatbed scanner. Her unique digital art harkens back to traditions of botanical illustration and flower photography – kind of Imogene Cunningham meets Mrs. Delany (Google her), the botanical collage artist from the 1780s.
As an author, I thought it would be great to do a book with her. As a gardener, I realized that her images represented plants captured at perfect moments in time. As a communicator, I recognized the potential to create a novel and inspiring guide to share with gardeners and designers.
We got the opportunity to work together nearly three years ago, and now the fruit of our labor is about to come out. Natural Companions: The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Combinations is our book with over 200 scans and conventional photographs illustrating perfect plant pairings using diverse species that grow together culturally, look good aesthetically and bloom at the same time. And it is shipping this week!
About 60% of the plants came from my pre-flood garden, so at least I have a lasting record of things gone but not forgotten. (Click here for more about the book, including photos.)