This Is For All The Lonely People

…thinking that life has passed them by

Days like today are never simple. Most of us, even if we know we are loved, have some achey corner of our lives that remains stained with loss or regret. Most of us face our days as courageously as we can, but hold, somewhere deep inside the knowledge that we were not enough for someone, not enough to keep them from leaving us, not enough for them to treat us generously, or fairly, not enough for them to love us the way we long to be loved. Days like this give us the chance to remind others how beautiful they are to us. But they may also, unintentionally serve as days that remind us love has not treated us quite as kindly as we were taught to hope it would, and that all the saccharine sweet wishes in the world will not make even one of them taste any more like the honey that is love returned.


This is for each of you who has ever experienced the horror of having been thrown away by someone. It is for those who have been lied about, stolen from, made fun of. It is for those who remain unseen, under-appreciated, frozen by fear.

Today, may you find permission to begin forgiving yourself for those achey scars you suspect make you unloveable. May you find some small measure of permission to love yourself a bit more generously, if simply by realizing that you are not at all alone in feeling so alone. And may that in turn free you to drop your guard, if only a little, to let another venture closer where they can begin to love you too.

This Is For All The Lonely People   (Remember this song by America?)



Left On The Cutting Room Floor, building my Flower & Garden Show Lecture…

Here’s the perfect chance to show some of my favorite, never before seen pictures that didn’t make the final cut for the book and share several behind the scenes tales from the making of The 50 Mile Bouquet

But how to weave all that into a story that will fascinate, entertain and flow over the imaginations of the audience like water? …or should that be like warm butter?

Start with tens of thousands of images shot in dozens and dozens of locations over a period of five years. Faces, places, relationships, actions, flowers, hands, bouquets, creatures, concepts. Now narrow that immense sea of images down to less than 200 that make sense for the book I co-created this past year with garden author Debra Prinzing, book designer James Forkner and the talented folks at St. Lynn’s Press. How exactly does one build a single slide that addresses all of that?

Here are the iPhone generated photos I shot yesterday as I worked out how to grapple with this ‘funnel it all into your brain’ concept.

First: I’m looking for something that I can use that looks like an immense funnel. Cue the violins as I dig this light fixture out of a dusty box in the basement and try to remember why I haven’t put it up outside my basement door yet. I hold it up while my trusty little iPhone camera counts down the seconds before shooting the self-timer triggered picture. Hooray for Camera+!


OK, it looks enough like a funnel that I think I can use it, but how can I get it to float properly above my head without having to hold it there? Thinking cap time. (PS, I’m wearing the hat in this case partly because I don’t want to have to go take a shower and wash my uber-frumpy hair before I can do this thing…)

20130131_DPP-4Hmmmmm, a light stand, a triangular scrap of wood and a clamp. Yes, I’ll have to retouch out the stand and the back part of the light fixture, but on a dark, textureless background, that should be easy enough. Notice that I’ve now traded my regular eyeglasses for my three dollar “BugEye” glasses to add an overall touch of elegance and class to the image. And notice too that I’ve got the camera tilted at an angle so I can add type to the lighter side of the image while accommodating the crookedness of the ‘funnel’ since it’s hanging all cattywompus from the light stand/clamp. Tricksy little hobbit.


By jove, I think we’ve got it. And I didn’t even have to take a shower.


Oh noes… Can it really have been that easy? A mere half-hour from initial brainstorm to final shot. Still gotta download it into the computer and retouch it in Photoshop. And I need to come up with some kind of special effect for the myriad of photos that will be pouring down from the heavens into the funnel. Doh, and I still need to figure out what the slide should actually say, pick a font and then add the type. But hey…

Total build time for this one ‘concept’ slide: About 3.5 hours.

Only 79 or 80 more to go…     Stay tuned.

Want to see how it all comes together? Come to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show on Friday, February 22. I’ll be presenting this seminar, Left on the Cutting Room Floor at 2:45 pm in the Hood Room and then signing copies of The 50 Mile Bouquet immediately following. Lectures at the NWFGS are free.

Today is building slides day, in preparation for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.
Today is another building slides day, in preparation for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.


Welcome new subscribers… Thank you for visiting.

A rainy, cold Saturday morning outside but obviously people want to learn and play more than they want to stay cozy and dry at home.
It was a chill, rainy Saturday morning outside, but obviously people wanted to learn and play more than they wanted to stay cozy and dry at home. My kind of people, indeed. You’ll find you’re among family here.

This is a quick welcome and shout out to those of you who have visited for the first time recently, having decided to subscribe following a lecture and/or workshop appearance. It is also a quick tease to remind all those interested in such things that I will be presenting once again at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. This year my seminar is entitled, Left on the Cutting Room Floor: Gorgeous Photos that Didn’t Make the Book.

If you’ve ever wondered how books like The 50 Mile Bouquet come together, how the pictures are selected and/or rejected for a picture-rich project, this sixty minute slide lecture is for you. Check out the seminar synopsis below and mark Friday, February 22 on your calendar as a perfect day to attend the Flower & Garden Show. There are so many great, free seminars to choose from. In fact, just a bit after my presentation, Amy Stewart, the wonderful author of Flower Confidential, who helped inspire and then generously wrote the introduction to The 50 Mile Bouquet for Debra Prinzing and me, will be lecturing in the Rainier Room on the subject of her brand new book, The Drunken Botanist. And following her, my dear friend Paul Zimmerman of Paul Zimmerman Roses will be lecturing in that same venue on the topic, Roses are Plants, Too. Here’s a link to more info on his new book: Everyday Roses: The Casual Gardener’s Guide To Growing Knockout and Other Easy-Care Modern Roses

(Paul and I are currently building a joint workshop which we’ll be presenting around the country, entitled Roses Old and New, covering both common sense rose care and approachable rose and garden photography. Look for more news on this exciting, full-day workshop here soon.)
You were such an enthusiastic room full of iPhone and iPad wielding travelers. You made my first presentation for the Rick Steves organization a real treat.


Here’s what I’m working on next: Northwest Flower & Garden Show

Left on the Cutting Room Floor: Gorgeous Photos that Didn’t Make the Book

Fri, Feb 22 at 2:45 pm / Hood Room (mark your calendars)
The process of (garden) bookmaking is considered by many who practice it to be one of the darkest of the arts, requiring an iron will, a subtle hand and ferociously focused multi-tasking skills. Fresh from his multiple roles as co-creator, photographer, photo editor and image colorist in producingThe 50 Mile Bouquet in collaboration with garden author, Debra Prinzing, for St. Lynn’s Press, David Perry invites you behind the curtain to see and understand better how the essential visual elements of a picture-rich book actually come together, and how he edited a collection of more than 40,000 photos down to a mere 176. Join David as he shares fascinating glimpses of this complex dance, from selecting just the right pictures that will help the author’s words come to life, to collaborating with the graphic designer in sizing, image placement and cropping, and finally, to the truly mysterious art of enhancing each file individually so it will sing in harmony with the others and stun on the printed page.

Book Signing immediately follows this seminar.

Here’s a little bonus, a glimpse at the cover image for the rose workshop I’m currently developing with rosarian, Paul Zimmerman. Stay tuned…




Looking to create the next great garden “it” thing…

Knowing how important is it to draw proper attention to oneself in this crazy, loud, busy internet-freeway of a world, I’d like to announce my latest garden product, the HOSTA LUEGO, a trend-setting new pot design that I’ve developed for retail nurserys everywhere in an effort to move those tender plants that didn’t sell during the growing season, make tons of money, prove that I’m cooler than Bud-Light in a 16oz. can, and duh, that I can think way, way outside of that proverbial old box.

You’ve probably come to expect pot designs that feature living plants and the aesthetically pleasing textures and color palettes they bring to your little bit of garden heaven. OK, fine. But I would submit that that tired, worn out approach is like, so   . . . September, 2012. Furthermore, I would submit that the really cool kids are ready for something totally different this holiday season, something that won’t require any care on their part while still making them look both natural and trendy. And don’t forget, Zombies are totally cool. Dig?

Enter the Hosta Luego, the hippest new form of merchandise ‘cool’ is a colorful pot containing a hosta that has succumb to the rigors of approaching winter. Just look at those lines, the textures, the subtle colors. Add a simple red bow and ZOWY baby, these uber-hip gift pots will literally fly out the door like those monkeys in the Wizard of Oz.

And then, come springtime, SUH-PRISE!!! Just imagine it, an actual, bright-leaved, living, growing plant will emerge from the architectural ruins of this lovely designer gift-plant corpse so that its loving owner can anticipate its demise all over again. Love!

Or, if you’re one of those hipsters who wants to give something totally unique but are a little afraid of the stigma of paying to ship dirt to your Aunt Marge down in Texas or your nephew Marvin in Moline, perhaps you should consider sending each of them their very own custom-cool version of this: Personalized video greeting and signed book. You supply the name and a few details, I’ll supply the smiles. Guaranteed!

Here’s a link to that sample video once again, in case you missed it.

Seriously, how much cooler & more personal a gift could you possibly give? For reals?



You might be amazed at what can emerge within a two-hour photo workshop. Just imagine what you could do in three . . . or in a two day workshop.

I certainly am amazed!

Few things are more fun to me than helping aspiring photographers move past being intimidated by all those mysterious bells and whistles on their cameras and more deeply into that realm where they can capture the pictures their mind’s eyes and hearts are seeing. It doesn’t much matter whether we’re dealing with iPhones, iPads, Point and Shoot cameras, full-frame SLR’s or 4×5 view cameras, ultimately, whenever we pick up a camera and press the shutter button, we are hoping to be able to capture some sort of momentary magic that we can, in turn, share with others.

This past Saturday at 10:00 am I found myself grinning from ear to ear as I once again looked out over a gathering of a dozen or so eager faces in the presentation area at Molbaks in Woodinville, each face intent on learning to make better pictures with the iPhones and point-and-shoot cameras they already own. It is an honor that I’m experiencing fairly regularly these days as I seek to share some of the most important photographic and poetic truths I’ve gleaned from decades of intentional living and photographic assignment work, and one I take very seriously.

Here then is a snapshot of most of the members of this most recent Molbaks workshop, and a peek at some of the stunning visual poetry their eyes, hearts and cameras captured and then shared during our playful class.

The assignment for the class was to go out and shoot “Haiku”, striving for really simple, minimalistic, poetic images. Then, after about a half hour of searching and shooting, everyone comes back, selects a few of their favorites and we project them, allowing each of their creators to explain what had captured their eye and imagination, what had inspired them first to shoot and then to choose each picture. Here are a handful of my favorites from the participants in Saturday’s class. Aren’t they wonderful? Seriously, several of these just blew me away!



If you’re interested in learning more about attending upcoming workshops, or in booking one for your store, organization or garden club, please consider subscribing to the blog and/or wander over the the Seminars and Workshops page of my website. I’ve currently got events coming up around Seattle (I’ll post the dates as soon as they are firm), a two-day workshop on a working flower farm up in the Skagit Valley and a few on the books for central and southern California. I also love to work with photographers one on one, reviewing their work and coaching them  either in person, or remotely via the internet and Skype.





I swear officer, this bouquet was just hanging on the fence next door…

Fresh today:   Clematis armandii ‘Apple Blossom’

My abiding gratitude to Roger and Nikki, next door, who offer such generous friendship and who continually allow me to harvest from their yard’s seasonal flowering bounty.

PS: To all of my friends who have been following along for four years now as we’ve gathered stories and pictures and then woven them into this newly born book, The 50 Mile Bouquet, I can very proudly say that Amazon has been shipping copies for a few days now ( a few friends have let me know that theirs have arrived already), and that many of your local bookstores and nurseries should have them available beginning April 1. If you need more information, please feel free to leave me a message here, or on Facebook, and by all means, feel free to write a review to let us know your impressions.