Friday, August 14, 2009

Crash, Bang, Bloom!

click photo to enlarge
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) organises an annual competition for communities and organisations under the title "Britain in Bloom". Regional organisations do the spadework (pun intended) of collecting entries, organising judging and making awards. Regional winners go forward to national finals. The purpose behind the event is to provide a greater incentive for people to use flowers to beautify where they live and work.

The other day I was in the village of Donington in Lincolnshire, a place that always enters the East Midlands competition, and I was admiring the flowers on display. Wall and hanging baskets full of bright blooms adorned railings, houses, shops, and public spaces. The flower beds in the park looked stunning, as did the area around the statue of the village's famous son, Matthew Flinders (who discovered and mapped parts of Australia). In fact the whole village must have looked marvellous for the visit of the judges at the end of July.

One particular display - featured in today's photograph - especially caught my eye. The Fire & Rescue Service building often has a wrecked car parked in a recess outside. These cars, which are changed periodically, are vehicles that have been involved in road traffic accidents. They are a graphic reminder to all who pass, placed there by those who attend these scenes of carnage, to take care when driving on the local roads. Clearly one of the flower organisers, rather than seeing the car as an eye-sore that might detract from the displays that were being erected, saw it as an opportunity. It had been laden with flowers - on the roof, in the engine bay, nearby on the ground, even inside (the windows slightly open forming a greenhouse of sorts), and looked great. I particularly liked the spiky plant on the engine that reminded me of the jets of water that sometimes spurt out of cars after a violent impact.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 12mm (24mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/600
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On