It was bitterly cold this morning and snow is in the forecast for tomorrow.

Cozy by the fire, I spent some time studying the photographs of Sam Abell in Seeing Gardens.

I began to bounce around the idea that gardens are more than the daffodils of spring, the flower beds of summer . . . embracing a definition of a garden as both deep and wide, where gardens influence our every day lives with resplendent verdure.

I took this single picture, a still life of a floral folder and two letters from my gardening friends, as a sketch. A way to begin this study. And even though this picture didn’t make it into the final collection, it was the inspiration in theme, color and tone for the this mini-portfolio, and a day of full immersion in the creative process.

“Photographers find themes emerging right under their nose—ones that they didn’t plan on or anticipate—as they review their images on contact sheets or in digital browsers. Sometimes a new approach or theme evolves for a while underneath the lamp of conscious awareness. You then recognize these fresh directions and piece them together, from the results of sessions with a camera over periods of time . . .

By taking many pictures for your Daily Record, you create the fertile conditions for your ideas to expand, for concepts to emerge and develop, and for your particular ways of seeing the world to manifest.” —David Ulrich, Zen Cameras