When we were discussing the new website for Friends of the Garden, we wanted there to be a feature where some of our members could publish their photographs of the gardens and arboretum.
This has become one of the most well-used and visited sections of the website. 6 photographers have posted thousands of images organized into over 200 galleries all focusing on the Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Parks.
Please note that only 3 of each photographer's latest galleries are displayed under their profile. To see all of a photographer's galleries, click on their name which links to their personal gallery page.
My interest in flowers and photography began by walking the Ozark Greenways trails. Seeing many unknown plants, both along the paths and in my yard from spreading seed, I began trying to identity each one. This became easier after I received a digital camera. Now I can look at a computer photo and compare it with one found on the Net. From such searching, I have an ever growing list of Web sites. These can be viewed HERE. One plant was unknown for 2 years.
I became a member after picking up a Friends of the Garden brochure at the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden and talking with George Deatz. The development and growth of both Parks, which are now called the "Springfield Botanical Gardens," has been very impressive. With more gardens and attractions planned, I am so looking forward to photographing the beautiful plants and flowers.
Sydnee Crain is a freelance writer and former editor of http://www.freshare.net, an Ozarks Outdoor e-zine to which she continues to contribute. Her passion for nature photography is a recent discovery, lending credence to the adage, "It's never too late to turn out to be who you really are." She maintains a nature blog at http://thelightfields.wordpress.com.
Growing up in the rich, fertile fields and brambled woods of Southern Illinois instilled in Sydnee a sense of intimacy with nature that has expanded with each passing year. Four years ago she discovered a "jewel" in the S.W. section of Springfield: Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park... it has been her refuge and playmate ever since, introducing a meditative silence and nature-lover's free-for-all into her world. To be associated with F.O.G. and the generous spirits of those who tirelessly work to make it the treasure it has come, is an honor for which Sydnee is most grateful. There are no words...but hopefully her photos will serve to "give back" what F.O.G. has so lavishly given to her.
My love of gardening was influenced at an early age by my grandmother and has steadily grown over the years. I became a Master Gardener in 2005 and recently a Friends of the Garden member. I have enjoyed photographing the ever changing seasons at the gardens as well as volunteering for the Master Gardeners at the hotline and the Xeriscape demonstration garden. When I began photographing flowers and insects in my own garden, I was inspired by the beauty and creativity that is present in every detail of nature.
I have been a photographer for years, as we traveled throughout the United States in our motorhome. It was an unforgettable experience. Since hanging up our gypsy keys, I have rekindled my interest in gardening and found the wonderful gem – Nathanial Greene Park and Close Memorial Park, which isn’t too far from my home. I am there most weekends during the summer and I hope to take more photos during the winter when the park is less busy.
I have to applaud the many hours that the volunteers have put forth in making this the star of the Springfield-Greene County Park System. Their efforts have made it a wonderful experience for the rest of us.If you haven’t visited Close Memorial Park, you have missed one of the best parks in Missouri, and maybe the United States! Visit soon and often. You will not be disappointed.
Hiltrud "Sam" Webber passed away unexpectedly in August 2011. This memorial gallery has both photographs she posted plus many others contributed from her extensive library of photographs of the plants, scenes and attractions found throughout Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park. She is missed by many but by viewing her collection of photographs, you can appreciate her love of flowers, shrubs, trees, insects,and other attractions found throughout the Parks as seen through her eyes.You can tour the Botanical Center's grounds and many beautiful gardens with a few clicks of your mouse.
Photographs by Hiltrud "Sam" Webber
Galleries designed by Barbara Clark
Introduction by George Deatz
Whenever I take photos, I tend to focus on an individual object, whether it's a bug, a flower, or a tree; I like to focus in on the unique qualities inherent in each one. I strive to cause the viewer to pause long enough to take a closer look at common objects or scenes; for it's not always the size, but the beauty that holds your attention. I love nature photography, because, in fact, I simply take a photo of what God has created, and I'm constantly amazed at the beautiful detail in His handiwork!
My husband, Donnie, and I have enjoyed visiting the Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Gardens for years, and I practically never come without my camera in hand. The Gardens are not only constantly changing with the Seasons, but also, ever-changing, with the addition of new garden areas being developed continually. With this transient nature in mind, I strive to capture beautiful moments in time through my photography.
The time and dedication that the Friends of the Garden lovingly put into the care of the Gardens makes it a pleasant and refreshing experience for all that visit. Some of our favorite areas of the Gardens are the beautiful Rose Garden and the relaxing Hosta Garden, and the Bill Roston Butterfly House is always a delightful, learning experience. Whether we take a leisurely stroll around Lake Drummond, or go for the more unique sights in the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Gardens, it's definitely one of our favorite places to go for a walk in Springfield.
My husband and I also frequent many other natural parks and gardens in Missouri and Arkansas; in particular, Dunnegan Park in Bolivar, and Powell Gardens near Warrensburg.