MEMBERS of the York Photographic Society have been out and about at open gardens across the region.

The result? A selection of photographs guaranteed to cheer you up his dull, grey January.

The gardens they visited included Harlow Carr (of course), Breezy Knees, Scampston, Burnby Hall and Stillingfleet Lodge.

The photographers captured everything from a wooden figurine representing a New Zealand Maori Tiki at Burnby, to meadows, fountains, ornamental ponds and a succession of flowers in glorious bloom.

Not all the photographers are gardeners. So they don't always know exactly what all the blooms they were photographing were - they were more interested in texture, colour, shape and composition.

Here is what they had to say about their photos:

Tim Evans

“I particularly like exploring the detail of flowers and trying to capture the interesting features on camera. I love using macro and often use ‘stacking’ to make sure all the details are in focus.”

Alan Greenaway

"Gardens provide close ups and vistas. They also provide plants, insects and garden furniture. Other visitors may be absorbed in what they are looking at, relaxing, or simply strolling. Additionally, there is usually the odd JCB or other machinery on maintenance work. Gardens thus offer a great variety of subject matter in a smallish space. Because they look different throughout the year, gardens repay frequent re-visits (which means that membership is a good idea). It's interesting to visit with colleagues and to compare the images afterwards."

Peter Bayliss

"I enjoy visiting gardens with my camera. I can capture those flowers and plants I may want to have in my garden. I enjoy taking my time to compose an image with my black cloth draped over my head and camera. This can attract a few onlookers and I am happy to explain what I am doing. There is always something different to see depending on the weather and the time of year. "

Don Proud

"I am not a gardener, so am only able to identify very few flowers. I can, however, appreciate their beauty. With photography it is possible to look at the smallest detail.

"My photographic journey started many years ago when I went to motor races on disused airfields in the borders. My Agfa camera had a wire viewfinder which made me look like a press man! The challenge of taking a picture that someone likes is still with me, and I keep hoping."

The gardens include:

Burnby Hall Gardens near Pocklington. Two lakes are set in nine acres of woodland. There is a tulip festival and the gardens are home to over 100 varieties of water lily. Brass band concerts are held in the summer.

Scampston Walled Garden

A contemporary four-acre garden designed by Piet Oudolf. The garden is arranged in rooms giving different planting schemes.

Breezy Knees Gardens

Five miles east of York, the ten acres of gardens have 17 separate areas including a June garden, September garden and May garden. The gardens contain over 6,000 varieties of plants.

RHS Harlow Carr

Harlow Carr in Yorkshire covers 68 acres. Set in a valley and very much a part of the Yorkshire countryside, the garden has a wide variety of growing landscapes, from running and still water to woodland and wildflower meadows. There is a streamside walk, kitchen walk, winter walk and Alpine house.

Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens

A four acre cottage garden in Stillingfleet south of York with a wildlife pond, wildflower meadow, rill garden and wattle garden.