I photographed David Geiger’s Chilmark garden as an assignment for Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, with an eye towards emphasizing its unique water features. These include a front-yard pond with a small island, a back-yard pool overflowing with lotus flowers, and a stone-lined gurgling brook that runs under the house connecting the two bodies of water.
When I photograph a garden, I like to follow it from spring to fall, with the peak weeks usually coming around mid-June to early July when gardens on the Vineyard are particularly lush. The process of photographing gardens is never a one-shot deal, since a garden is always in flux – I try to not go more than a week or two without checking in, since I’m liable to miss so much. There’s definitely something new to look forward to with each early morning excursion to Chilmark.
Something happened with this garden that I’d never experienced before. I became obsessed with one particular species of flower – a fanciful, flamboyant, and sometimes bizarre pink lotus. In fact, I become so enamored of it that I continue to pay visits to the lotus with camera and tripod in hand, several years after the original photo shoot. Most flowers tend to be most appealing or interesting when they are in full bloom, but what intrigued me about the lotus were all of the varied stages in its life cycle – from slender green bud, to exotic flower, to the petals dropping off, leaving only a large round pod. And the oversized leaves were very nearly as dramatic as the blossoms themselves.