Monday, March 30, 2009

Nature's Salute To The Morning

In The Mellow Sunlight Of An Indian Haven

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


These shots were taken in a friend’s garden in December 2006. I was in Dehra Dun, northern India, for only four days and was revelling in the opportunity to use my camera in a part of the country I had never been to.

Even though I grew up in India, and travelled widely, there are many parts I still have not visited and Rajasthan, in particular, still draws me like a magnet.

I was up early every morning in Dehra Dun, the better to use the soft winter light. The frosts had not started, but there was heavy dew on the grass and the diffused light was great to capture soft tones that might otherwise have been harder to nail down in bright light.


Bougainvillea, as any Indian will tell you, is common in all parts of the country and it’s not unusual to see great bursts of vivid colours across a stark wall or boundary area. The plant is actually named after Louis Antoine de Bougainville, an French admiral who is credited with being the first European to discover the captivating species in Brazil in 1768.

Like many of the older villas in Dehra Dun, a prime outpost in the Raj era, this is a beautiful cottage with an English-style garden. The bougainvillea was growing in large pots, so I was able to shoot at slightly below eye level, choosing my angle so as to utilise the light to best effect.

And if you do grow bougainvillea, I am reliably told that it flowers most profusely if trimmed lightly. Resist the urge to cut it back harshly – and you’ll be rewarded with bursts of long-lasting colour in a variety of shades.


Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of Today's Flowers.

53 comments:

richies said...

Beautiful photos. The hot pink tips make a striking photo. I have a George Harrison bootleg album that has an outtake song titled Dehra Dun.

An Arkies Musings

imac said...

Turned out nice again David, you caught that well.

Dont forget to pop and see my Derbyshires last post(when time permits, lol)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, David...Bougainvillea is one of my all time favorites...My parents had it growing in their San Francisco Bay Area Courtyard when I was growing up...I helped trim it as a little girl...It made the courtyard with its fountain a magical place for me. These pictures take me back to that childhood "secret garden"...as it must have been for you, visiting India!

Maggie May said...

Beautiful, beautiful plant. Bougainvillea grows like a weed in Spain and Italy and looks so lovely trained up the side of houses and hedges, but over here it is a treasured indoor plant.

lakeviewer said...

David, thanks for such beautiful photograph. Looks like this plant has travelled the world and has decorated many gardens. It needs hot sun, the one thing we don't have on this coast. Just south of us, in Brookings, it blooms in profusion.

I miss it too, having spent most of my adult years in Southern California.

Katney said...

We had bougainvillea at my childhood home in Southern California.

Charles Gramlich said...

the colors of flowers are ust so amazing. We've got a bunch of gorgeous stuff blooming around us right now.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

'whispering still'...

'thank you for visiting David..Easter Sunday eh? a double honour indeed!'
this post and pictures resonates quietly and peacefully with my today in my mellow mood! I thank you.

Kendris said...

Beautiful photos, & a nice use of light.

Tarolino said...

Absolutely enchanting photographs. You have caught those wonderful tones so very well.

Grace and Bradley said...

Thanks for sharing the beautiful variety of bougainvillea. We most often only see the red one in Taiwan and at South of France. It is one of my mother's favorite. It is too cold for our garden on the Cape.

VALKYRIEN said...

Absolutely wonderful flower! The colors and the structure makes it almost look like it is made of paper!

RuneE said...

It seems that I have missed a lot in my life, but your camera and your blog have at least tought me something about India - very often.

Sylvia K said...

Exquisite! And thanks for in info as well, always enjoy a chance to learn something new!

introspection said...

Lovely pictures. Bougainvillae are abumndantly grown in this part the world, in lots of colors and hues. The ones you have locked in your camera are certainly an unusually beautiful shade and perfectly captured in the pictures.
Dehra Dun is beautiful and also houses the Doon school - India's best known high school.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Beautiful photos as ever,David.
I think you've convinced me I need a new camera. I am thinking perhaps at this stage of getting a digital SLR with a zoom lens of say 35mm to 80mm. Would you agree with this spec.? Or what would you advise for not too heavy use?
Best wishes, Eddie

distracted by shiny objects said...

Gorgeous. And "bougainvillea," such a lovely word.

TheWritersPorch said...

David, that Bougainvillea is so breath taking! I have two hanging baskets of the peach color that are so lovely!I will look for this color also as your shots make me long to have it!
Carol

Nessa said...

They are so pretty.

Artist Unplugged said...

Amazing photos.....so enjoyed the flowers!

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Nice shots of the Boug. We have to grow that indoors for the winter. It still flowers but not like it does in a frost free area.

Luiz Santilli Jr said...

David,

Wonderful flowers!
It seems hands painted!
Whe we were child we put flowers in a water solution with blue ink (ink of fountain-pen), and for cappilarity ink run to the petals!
Good time that don't comeback!

Luiz

Lilly said...

Nice photos. I'm a big fan of Bougainvilleas.

ChrisCandJonJ said...

The last photo is gorgeous!I love bougainvillea.Grows quite happily in Florida.

Naturegirl said...

David beautiful color in the first photo with lavender tips!
I see many Bogainvillia here in Arizona..extremely prolific..in all colors! I've posted many recently and each time I am out and about I see another stunning color worth posting!!
Wishing you a colorful day!

Sherry said...

These are beautiful flowers, and the pink and white makes such a striking color combination. I wish I could grow it here!
Great photos.

imac said...

Thanks for your time and visit, also your kind words.

Cath said...

Very striking colours. Beautiful flowers. Oh to have that colour in winter! :)

Darla said...

I love these plants!!

Casdok said...

Simply beautiful.

Gill - That British Woman said...

love those photos, they look paper thin those flowers?

Gill in Canada

R said...

I learned Bougainvillea when I visited Spain. But there they were mostly ruby colour. Your B is so beautiful!

Judy said...

I love these photos!! Especially that intsense pink colour! And I so appreciate you taking the time to explain some about how to take the photos!! I am learning from you!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I really like bougainvillea but...it's not hardy to my part of Canada. Lovely!

Amanda said...

Great choices, love the variety, the pink tipped I would love to see in my backyard.

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

Bougainvillea reminds me of home.

Arija said...

Nice multi-coloured effect in the first two shots.

SandyCarlson said...

I am glad to read the history of this beautiful flower. I have read the name but not known the history. It sure has travelled.

Kelly H-Y said...

Those are gorgeous photos! I fell in love with bougainvillea on a trip to San Diego, and immediately came home and planted one in my garden. Unfortunately, it did not survive it's first Northwest winter! Such a beautiful plant!

simon said...

great photo mate! I have one growing on the fence.. beautiful, except when I get e thorn in me whilst trimming it!

guild-rez said...

I always admire Bougainvillea while vacationing in warmer climates. Your pictures are very beautiful!!

Shawna said...

Wow, David. Those are gorgeous! I took some closeups of the girls today and thought of you..."get close and then get closer." Check 'em out if you get a chance.

shawna-mygirls.blogspot.com

Mojo said...

I've seen several movies that were either set in Dehra Dun or at the least had scenes set there. but for the life of me none of the titles will come to me now. There was one that I think starred Sunny Deol where his family's home was there and it had sat empty for years and he discovered it... blast! It just won't come to me.

I didn't realize that bougainvillea was such a global kind of plant. Must be a pretty hardy beggar if it can grow in such widely varied climates.

Lee said...

Wow! Never new bouganvilla had verigated flowers. Beautiful pictures, David!

Cheers!

Ebie said...

First time to see that white and purple or pink variety of the flower. Very nice photos.

Vic Grace said...

Those bushes were everywhere in Mexico I wish I could have brought some home.

Norm said...

love the color combination of those flowers, absolutely beautiful..

Blossom said...

I have bourgainvillea and love the color. I wish I have like the one in your photo, 2 colors on one flower. Someday, you might be able to travel to Malaysia and see and photograph our beautiful country.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

We love bouganvillea in our yard, too, David, and ours is bright magenta! That first one you photographed is just exquisite. The second is beautiful, too, but the first is stunning in terms of color.

Sheila :-)

M said...

Puts my bougainvillea to shame! Great pic!

Baino said...

It's an amazing plant and seems to flower all the time but those spikes! We had it growing around our front door for many years and when we decided that it was past it's prime we suffered . . .sorry for not visiting more often but now I have internet that will allow all your amazing pics to actually build!

Jennifer H said...

I love bougainvillea. Of course,here in Arizona, it's everywhere - but I don't remember seeing it in white. Beautiful.

My friend has some in a really pretty deep peach color.

The first time I ever saw it was at an old coffee plantation in Mexico, and I was a goner. :-)

Louise said...

Absolutely stunning photos. I've never seen hit in those colors. Gorgeous. (And the lighting was perfect.)