Vintage frames give garden pictures presence and capture the colour contrasts shared by the sofa cushions. Photo credit: photography by Amy Neunsinger © CICO books 2019

Dear Debbie;

I don’t have a lot of money to spend on art but do love to take photographs of my garden and the budding cherry blossom trees in our back yard. How would you suggest framing them? I’m not interested in those cheap black plastic frames. Thanks for your ideas.
— Penny

Dear Penny;

I am sure you derive awesome inspiration from your garden year round. There is always something beautiful to capture outdoors and early spring is especially exciting as the earth’s winter landscape comes alive with colour. I always feel that there is something very brave about the tiny white snowdrops and bright yellow crocuses, the carpet of creeping phlox and young hyacinths that can’t wait to see the sun. And your cherry blossom trees are a special favourite of mine.

There are plenty of options for framing your pictures, and they make wonderful artwork for your walls. Simple wood frames are inexpensive and can be stained or painted to achieve the look you prefer. You can also buy a few strips of trim or moulding and glue these onto the frames to add character. Or make your own frames; there are easy DIY instructions on line. Do some experimenting to see what colour frame best suits your work. Silver and gold are both good options. And you can also add a mat to create a border or frame within the frame.

If you enjoy antiquing, check out shops and secondhand markets for old frames. These are a real find and don’t take long to freshen up. Your floral subject matter will unite the grouping, so you can either choose frames of a similar look and size or vary the arrangement.

Framing the photos captures the colours and allows each to become a focal point. Shown here is a stunning example of how simple pictures can hold sway in a sitting room. Notice how the shades in the flowers are repeated in the sofa cushions. These vibrant hues give life to the neutral background. This vignette is from Faded Glamour: Inspirational Interiors and Beautiful Homes by Pearl Lowe, photography by Amy Neunsinger. The homeowner loves art and her home is filled with a jubilant mix of styles and subjects. She does not believe in the general rule about hanging pictures. She often hangs them way above eye level, even over a doorway. “This way (the picture) will catch your eye and you can have a really good look at it when you’re lying on the sofa or when reflected back to you from a mirror, talking to you when you least expect it.” There are a variety of frames to give you inspiration in this book. The pictures over the sofa were of no particular value, chosen because the homeowner liked them. Ornate, vintage frames help them stand out.

Another option that we are going to cover in a future column is to have your photographs printed on wood, metal or glass. Any of these treatments creates a one of a kind picture, suited to your personal style.

We all make our own special connection to photographs. If you have taken them yourself, you will always be drawn back to that space and time. Nature’s gifts are free for all to behold and certainly worthy of taking up space on our interior walls to enjoy year-round. Enjoy framing your garden photographs.