Sunday, October 3, 2010

Garden Scanning

A picture (or a photograph) is worth a thousand words, they say.   In my new world of garden blogging, I recently discovered the most fun way to capture our gardens without a single shutter click of a camera!   I'm so excited about this new creative outlet that I am rendered...well...almost speechless!  Almost. 

Let me tell you all about it!

This is like pressed flowers meets technology :-)

Check out the Gardening Gone Wild blog for a complete run-down on how to do what I am now affectionately calling "garden scanning."    You might even want to enter this month's "Picture This Photo Contest." (See the GGW blog for contest details.)   Visit Ellen Hoverkamp's website to see some absolutely gorgeous examples of garden scans.

Here are my abbreviated (and novice) instructions:

  • Go out to your garden and gather a bunch of blooms and foliage.

  • Lay them on your scanner face down, layering and arranging as you would a pressed flower arrangment.

  • Cover the whole arrangment with a dark background of some type (like a large dark book or a towel or piece of cloth) or if you're a night-owl like me, you can turn off the lights in the room and scan in the dark

  • Scan the image onto your computer (If you click the "Preview" option first, you can see what the image will look like, and you can make adjustments to your arrangement before the final scan.)

It's just that easy!  
Here are a few of my first attempts.... 

In this scan I arranged all of the flowers, and then I spread a background of Margarite Sweet Potato vine leaves over the whole screen.

Can you name all of the plants in this "photo"?  
Hint...check out my What's Bloomin' post from September.

These flowers are growing out of a "meadow" of
Margarite Sweet Potato vine leaves
with "stems" from a plume of my Miscanthus sinensis 'Adagio' grass. 
The blooms pop against the dark background.

A single leaf of White Queen Caladium shows amazing detail.

Loropetalum leaves layered over a  Bengal Tiger Canna.
This display shows one of my favorite color combinations in the garden...
burgundy foliage contrasted with lime green or variegated foliage.

So try your hand at a little "garden scanning."  

Get creative!
The possibilties are endless.  

Oh, and one other little note... after you're done scanning your precious posies, you might need to wipe off your scanner to remove any plant debris or tiny critters that crawled in to get their picture taken, too.

Have fun!!

Until next time...
                 Happy Gardening

Toni :-)


  1. Wow - I just love those scans. Beautiful art.

  2. I can't wait to try this technique, perhaps with some colourful fall leaves. :) (I've chosen your blog to highlight in my sidebar this week...I hope it brings you lots of new readers!) I look forward to exploring your blog further.

  3. Nancy, thank you so much for visiting my blog and featuring it on your blog. I have added your blog to my blog list, too. I guess we'll call that recipro-blogging :-) I am excited to try some fall leaves on the scan, too, but I'll have to wait until late November or December for that. I'm planning to do a scan a month to capture my garden at a moment in time. Fun stuff! Blog on!!

  4. You've achieved some amazing art with the scanner. I can't wait to try it as well. Would never have imagined you could get such beautiful results.... and thanks for the handy hints.

  5. I didn't think to put the lid down on the scanner to flatten them. It makes a really cool effect.

  6. @McGregor'sDaughter: Thanks for visiting my blog! I have tried lowering the lid or placing a black book over the arrangement and then scanning. Does give a different effect, but doesn't work with some plants. Lots of fun things to try. My most recent scans I just turned the lights off to get the black background.

  7. I tried different fabric coverings but was never happy with my results. I, too, am scanning in the dark. Thanks for all the information.

  8. @TufaGirl: I tried fabric, as well, but same thing, wasn't too happy with the results. Last night I was scanning, and needed a couple more fern fronds, but it was pitch black outside. I grabbed my flashlight to go outside and cut some more, but then came to my senses, and decided one was good enough after all. Afraid of running into critters in the dark! Ha!! Thanks for visiting my blog :-)

  9. Hi Toni,
    I really love the way your scan turned out! The wavy stems from grasses is very creative. I'm with you ~~ one of my favorite combinations of colors in the garden ~~ just about anything contrasted with chartreuse.
    Meems @HoeandShovel

  10. It never would have occured to me to put flowers on my scanner!! Very cool!!! Thanks for the info! :0)

  11. I love the look of your scanned garden flowers! Being interested in both gardening and crafts/home decor, this really appeals to me. I'm glad I followed the link to this post where StoneGardener had asked how you did it. I know this is an older post, and I may not have found it otherwise. I used to use a scanner to scan fibers for my website when I sold them online, but it hadn't occurred to me to scan flowers. Thanks so much for sharing this! (I love the way you used the scanner to make a permanent copy of your favorite garden combinations ... I think I'll have to do this and frame it for my walls once the season gets going this year.)