In the beginning, I loved to garden. I'll even go so far as to say I had a pretty decent green thumb. When we lived in Portland for a few years, I learned to love flowers, and for this California girl who was familiar with crabgrass, sweet alyssum, and golden poppies; the diverse flowers, dark green grass, and abundance of trees in the Northwest was amazing. My grandmother taught me a lot about gardening. So many memories (and pictures) of her not only gardening but her garden itself. Red and white impatiens lining the front walkway. The intense perfume of geraniums filling the side yard. Yellow roses, petunias, begonias, and marigolds all planted around her house.

I don't know when it happened, when my green thumb went rotten. It wasn't sudden, it was gradual. The desire to garden became less. The thought of pruning, weeding, fertilizing, and deadheading became insignificant. Eventually, I realized, I didn't like to garden and instead became really became talented at killing plants. It was embarrassing. I've killed many philodendrons. Drowned ferns. Murdered an aloe. And I'm almost certain an air plant decided it had just had enough. How do you even kill an air plant?

Despite my rotten thumb, I never stopped loving flowers. The bright ones, the odd ones, the dead ones, but especially the ones that are just shy of perfect. I liked them all. I love the curves, the colors, and the dance of a flower. Soon enough, I was photographing them. The first ones were not so great; harsh sunlight, blurry, over-edited, too far, too close, or not really looking like I did much else than snap a photo. There wasn't a whole lot of thought behind it. It took me a while to slow down and really look at a flower. Watch how the light hits a petal, how a bud is so neatly folded, or even just follow a little critter crawling all over it.

Today, you can find me meandering in a local garden. Crouched in a patch of lavender and bee stalking. Or in my own house set up with a tripod and a bouquet of flowers. I learned a lot from the flowers. I learned to slow down, watch the light, and really figure out what it is I want to showcase. Flowers are absolutely amazing and if you just sit and look closely, you'll see its nature's artwork. There is something to be said about the saying to "stop and smell the roses."