About Saxon Holt

Saxon Holt is the owner of PhotoBotanic, a garden picture resource for photographs, workshops, and garden photography stories. A landscape photographer and award winning photojournalist with more than 20 garden books, he lives and gardens in Northern California.

Author Archive | Saxon Holt

A Flower Can Change Your Day

I was all set yesterday morning to begin my post on drought tolerant plants, seeing as how we in California are in the midst of a really dry winter.  Then at breakfast my wife brought me a single Camellia  from the garden, set in a clever stone vase.

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My day changed.  I am so easily distracted. Continue Reading →

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Probing Beauty

Garden photographers look to capture beauty with a camera.  Poets use words.

Hazel White leads a poetry walk, Marin Headlands Center for the Arts

Hazel White leads a poetry walk, Marin Headlands Center for the Arts

My friend, the poet and occasional garden writer, Hazel White recently led a hike as part of her artist in residence program at the Headlands Center for the Arts where she seeks to “create a series of site-responsive sonnets, each of which is 14 forays, or lines, of thought on the liaisons between landscape and language”.

This is artists’ speak for probing beauty of place, which is what she asked us to consider as she led a hike into the marshes near the Center.  In consideration of beauty, do we find it ?, or does beauty find us ?  Hazel gave us each a simple four foot garden stake as a physical probe to extend our own physical space into nature around us, as we went exploring for beauty.  What would we find ? Continue Reading →

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I Have Faith

Leonardo da Vinci, The Virgin of the Rocks - Angel detail

Angel detail from The Virgin of the Rocks – Leonardo da Vinci

To be a gardener, you must have faith.  You must believe you can coax life to bend to your will.  You are a god.

This is a spiritual time of year, and a time to renew faith in God.  Whether a personal god, the pagan gods, or a god of doctrine and formal beliefs, true belief is a comfort.  A comfort that there are bigger things than us, that we exist in a larger spirit.  Life will always go on.  Perhaps without humans one day, but life is good, it will go on. Continue Reading →

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Frosted Camellias

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Frosty flowers on Camellia sasanqua ‘Cleopatra’

Even in California, frost causes problems.  And when it comes in early December it causes big problems.

Almost every gardener I know here in the Northern part of the state pushes the limits of their garden.  It’s California ! – it is our birthright to grow tropicals and tender succulents, plants that are barely hardy in a good year. Continue Reading →

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Rake at Rest

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What is work in the garden ?  For a garden photographer in his own garden, work shifts as the garden speaks.

There are times when the garden cries out for care, and the work is sweaty, grimy, intensely physical.  Then there are times when the garden sings and the work is quiet, aesthetically sensual, even joyful. Continue Reading →

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