Ta-da!! I present you Shirl Moberly’s beautiful garden! The Moberly’s won this photography shoot at the Lynford Country Weekend a couple years ago in an auction. It was a ‘farm photography shoot’ with lifestyle included. A couple weeks ago, I photographed some of their dairy operations, mostly of pasture management and then of course Shirl’s lovely garden. Shirl especially requested that I delay the shoot by 6 months as she was working on her garden and redesigning some of it for her daughter’s pending farm wedding. The plan was to have the wedding when the aloes are flowering in May this year. But as so many ‘almost brides and groom’s’ know, COVID-19 has meant that all weddings are postponed until further notice! Nevertheless, the garden goes on and right now, it’s bursting with colour! Shirls garden is mostly a succulent/aloe garden and is absolutely spectacular at this time of year during the dry winter months. Aloes are a personal favourite of mine. They usually start to flower around the end of Autumn and go right into the cold and frosty winter months, bringing the landscape to life with bold pops of orange, red and yellow that contrast the clear blue sky. Shirl’s garden is a work of art. She’s cleverly grouped plants together that create a contrast in colour, height and shape and has designed various garden features using river rocks, railway sleepers and old farm objects. She’s also managed to make functional objects such as the water tank, look pretty!  While photographing this garden, I had to stop often and simply look. Because it seemed that with every section of the garden or nook and cranny – there was something interesting that Shirl had created! It’s going to make a stunning wedding venue, take 2!

For her daughter’s wedding, the plan was to use a few hundred potted succulents as wedding decor and ‘favours.’ Shirl has built a temporary greenhouse for the succulents where she will keep them (and nurture them) until next year for the new wedding date! Since the wedding did not take place because of lock down, the bride and groom decided to stay on the farm for lock down instead of returning to their city life! A good choice I think, especially when it’s in a place as beautiful as the Umzimkulu valley! I was able to get a few shots of the Bride and Groom (to be) on this shoot too!

While I am focused on agricultural and documentary photography, it’s always a pleasure to have a change of scene and a new subject matter such as this garden and a lovely couple to photograph!  I did however manage to squeeze in some ‘documentary photography’ while on this shoot! The Moberly’s just love their dogs and requested that I get a few of them too. I believe I managed to capture some of what goes on behind the scenes, when no-one is looking!

The Gardener (1)

Farm view

Aloe garden (2)

Garden feature

Almost married (22)

Almost married (23)


Dogs (22)


Dogs (25)

The Gardener (2)

Lianne provides agricultural, environmental portraiture and documentary photography  for websites, advertising, training manuals, webinars and for editorial purposes.  If you would like to know more about Lianne’s photography services, please contact Lianne here with your enquiry or request.