In the Garden With: Stacy Bass

by Rochelle Greayer

in Photography

Do you remember our friend Stacy Bass? She had a great series here about garden photography (which she is really good at) called First Light. She taught us about frame, focus, and composition as well as creating photography books and preparing your garden to be photographedWell, if you loved all that, you might also love her book. It is called In The Garden and it is a beautiful collection of her work.
Today she is here again, to tell us a little bit more about herself and her own garden…I am so excited to share. – rochelle

vertical smile 2

How would you define your style (garden, fashion, interiors, other or all of the above)?

These days, I’d say my garden and interiors style has shifted more toward a clean, contemporary look. As a garden and interiors photographer, my work takes me to so many different kinds of places and there is no question I am influenced by things I shoot that really strike me. You can check out some of the gardens I’ve photographed in my new book, In The Garden, which features 18 amazing gardens.

Do you have a garden? What is it like?

After speaking to many groups about garden photography and ALWAYS being asked that very question, I made it my goal to create a garden at our home. Before that, I had what is better referred to as “landscaping” but not a garden, per se. So last spring, we hired a terrific local landscape designer (Sean Jancski) to help turn our vision into a reality and used images from many of my shoots to illustrate what we liked—everything from color, to the use of certain plants and flowers, to overall tone and feel. The garden is very clean and crisp, with a series of vignettes and spaces and is punctuated with two modern, geometric sculptures (one is a water feature) which add visual interest, light and movement to the spaces. The sculpture is by David Harber and the water feature by Allison Armour.

birdbath and hydrangeaDo you have any favorite or sentimental plants or flowers?

I am a sucker for hydrangea. Pretty much any color or type can make me swoon but I am especially partial to the Nikko blue. That flower and how lush and incredible it looks when in bloom reminds me of time I spent growing up and vacationing on Nantucket. They never feel to make me feel calm and happy and I always appreciate the chance to photograph gardens where hydrangea play a prominent part. Love them!

HYDRANGEA 'NIKKO BLUE'

What is your earliest or favorite gardening related memory?

I am really not a gardener as much as I am a garden LOVER. We had a vegetable garden in our yard when I was a kid but I admit that I don’t recall being especially drawn to it or the experience. But the “garden” moment that got me hooked—really hooked–was my very first professional photo shoot about 10 years ago. I was giving the assignment to shoot a gorgeous property high on a hill in Southport, Connecticut. I was alone and the light was spectacular and I was so enchanted by the chance to wander around this gorgeous place, discovering new surprises at every turn. It was so serene but yet very alive and SO very visual, I couldn’t wait for the next one.

stacy bass gardenWhat are three cardinal design rules that you think apply to outdoor projects?

To me, three cardinal rules which I think relate to both interior and landscape design – and how photogenic they will turn out to be–are…

  1. Keep it clean (meaning, even in the most meandering of spaces, have some order or theme that holds everything together).
  2. Pay attention to color (meaning, always think about how color impacts the space you are working on and how colors are interacting (or fighting) with one another).
  3. Keep it fresh (meaning, take the time to tweak or edit spaces over time. Sometimes the simplest change can refresh a space and give it new interest and life).

stacy bass gardenStacy Bass Recommends….

  1. Dovecote in Westport is always an inspiration. This fabulously chic home furnishings and design treasure always has just the right thing to freshen up your home, outdoor space, etc. as well as terrific gifts and books.
  2. Terrain (in Westport and Philadelphia as well as online) is a great place to get creative, organic and terrific ideas for the garden. I love wandering around this huge space (and nursery) to see what they are showing!
  3. I am obsessed with these great – totally rubber- shoes by Native. No more ruined converse (!) and after a shoot, I can just rinse them off. Functional and comfortable. Perfect for working in the garden.
  4. This garden water feature is just beautiful to look at. Love it in all weather. My neighbors tell me that they stop and stare at it for a quiet zen moment as they walk by!
  5. Dinners at the Farm. This is such a lovely way to spend an evening and support local agriculture as well.

 Thanks Stacy!  

all images by stacy bass
In the garden by stacy bass book cover