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Saxon Holt, photographer working in garden with Blond Ambition

A life-long gardener, Saxon Holt spent his professional time as a commercial photographer until 1985 when he discovered the gardening market and could no longer stay indoors. He quickly developed a reputation as a photographer with a distinct vision and understanding of plants and landscapes.

His work has been featured in diverse publications from Architectural Digest and Pacific Horticulture Magazine, to Smithsonian and MoneyMagazine along with most major book publishers, as well as calendars, newspapers, and note cards.  He licenses his garden photography stock photos at PhotoBotanic.com where he also teaches garden photography and contributes to a Learning Center on the art of garden photography.

His work and his own books increasingly focus on the relationship between gardens and the land, seeking a sustainable aesthetic that can enhance both gardener and the earth – Garden Earth.  In the seminal 2004 book Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates Saxon was determined “to change the aesthetic of what we expect to see in a garden photograph”. The book received awards from both The American Horticultural Society and The Garden Writers of America.

Gardening in Summer-Dry Climates, Timber Press January 2021

Following the publication of that book he focused his attention on the Summer-Dry Project to help gardeners have success in summer dry climates, an initiative that has evolved from a catchy phrase to redefine mediterranean gardening techniques, to a new book, a summerdry.com website, and an upgrade to the California WUCOLS* plant database.

There is even a new Instagram account, @summerdry.gardens dedicated to gardeners who want to have success in climates where dry summers are not drought – they are normal.

“In the midst of tumultuous climate change, we realize it’s all the more important that gardeners be stewards of the land, attuned to the local environment on behalf of all creatures. Every small act we do adds resiliency.”

So this is the mission of the summer-dry project – to help gardeners find those plants that will contribute to the health of the planet, redefining beauty that honors the summer dry climate so that gardens that have an authentic connection to place.

Professionally, Saxon is a member of ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers), ASPP (American Society of Picture Professionals), is a Fellow of GardenComm (Garden Writers of America), and is a Board member of Pacific Horticulture Society.Saxon Holt and dog Kona at Deer Island Preserve

Walks with Kona Dog, Marin County, California

He lives and gardens Northern California where he has found the climate for plants and adventuresome gardeners to be a constant source of inspiration.  When not traveling, he walks every morning with his dog Kona in the summer-dry, winter-wet hills of Marin County. @saxonholt



Artist Statement

I love plants and gardens and want others to have successes and appreciation learning from what I have seen.

Photography is a tool of expression.  It can illustrate and reveal a photographer’s passion, but the camera ALWAYS lies.  Indeed, that is the photographer’s job and intention – to force the viewer to see through the photographer’s eye.  Any image we see anywhere has been edited and chosen to be shared.  No matter how consciously the photographer decided to compose the image, or how much it may be cropped, edited, or manipulated, it is not the whole truth of any scene.

I see differently than you (or anyone else).  My truth is my own.  I take photographs to tell stories about what I see and try every day to find new ways to express what I see – and hope it intrigues you.

Follow along; let’s find new gardens and new ways to celebrate plants.

Ginkgo biloba fall leaves with Camelia ‘Yuletide’, dualities