Today’s post is the second to last one in our continuing series of photos from Hatley Park Castle.  We’ve had a total blast bringing you this series and quite honestly the response from everyone has been overwhelming!  Thank you all, we really appreciate it!!  Without further ado, let’s wander into the gardens together, shall we?

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

Both Mrs. Toad and I have our favorite photos from this series.  This is without a shadow of a doubt mine.  There is something very Romanesque about this image in my eye, the rounded feature that encircles the inner garden completely reminds me of architecture from Greek and Roman times.  This shot took 13 brackets to fully pull out all the details we possibly could.  The alcove has a lovely little bench in it that we can clearly see.  The columns are spectacular and are absolutely full of texture and detail, definitely one of my favorite elements here.  If you peer through the columns, you can see the ocean in the far background.  In the summer, this would be an entirely different scene.

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

It’s very difficult to pick favorites from the series, this one is my second favorite.  I think.  Another 13 shot bracket image created to try to fully expose all the details possible.  This shot took the longest to compose during our visit, I really spent a lot of time trying to make sure it was framed properly.  The reflection of the water puddle on the red tiles underneath the canopy was really a very interesting element.  Mrs. Toad loves the window that clearly opens and closes…  to what purpose?  There is a wide opening right underneath it, and the entire stone canopy is sitting out in the open as well!  You can also see underneath the canopy, near the ceiling there, with great clarity.  Another element that brings me back time and time again.

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

This is one of the alternative entrances to the inner garden, and it makes for a foreboding image!  Those vines that surround the entrance-way are truly beautiful and create such a sense of a dark and moody winter scene.  There were so many various nooks and crannies to this facility, it seems that one could adventure on the grounds for hours on end.  Little gems like this doorway appear around every corner.

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

This image was taken from standing in the lower garden/sports area looking up to the inner garden we’ve just explored.  The door has frosted glass inserts and the green door has some weathering to create a sense of an older time.  Once again, those incredible vines climb their way up the wall and surround the doorway here.  As you can see in this image, the stonework of the castle and it’s grounds are truly exceptional and well worth the time to take in and fully appreciate.

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

This is actually not a HDR image due to the movement of the waterwheel.  We really wanted to grab a frame of it to share with everyone but due to its motion HDR is not a suitable application here.  Little creeks wander the grounds and in tomorrow’s post we will explore the lower Japanese garden area, which is where this little creek runs into.

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

Hatley Park Castle - Victoria BC Canada

This wonderful greenhouse sits to the side of the garden area and was a marvelous find.  I love the way the light is diffused through the glass in the house.  If you look closely, the window pane to the right of the doorway reveals a wheel of some sorts, probably used to turn on and off the sprinkler system.  This wheel is probably original, it looked very very old to us.  The door was yet another element of interest, it’s weathered and slightly worn facade revealing years of visits from the local caretakers.

We really appreciate you taking the time to visit today, we hope you’re enjoying the series!  Tomorrow we will wrap it up, I think you’ll really like what’s coming next.  Please feel free to leave a comment, we truly love to hear from our visitors!!




  1. avatar Jim Denham says:

    WOW! The details and design for this garden are incredible! Fantastic photos – they really bring it out! Well done!

  2. I love the title of this post; conjuring up visions of beauty and mystery. Wonderful story that you’re telling through these images. It’s a fairy tale that you don’t want to end.

  3. Great shot, guys! Love them!

  4. Awesome set of photos! Very evocative!

  5. Thank you so much everyone, your kind words of encouragement and support mean the WORLD to us!! We appreciate it beyond words! 🙂

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by KerriFar, Jim Denham. Jim Denham said: RT @ToadHollowPhoto: New Blog: "The Dark Garden": http://wp.me/p1fizW-5r ^ The best post to date! Awesome work here! […]

  7. Great set – particularly like the first three . .as for greenhouses – they’re ACE!

  8. Another great series of photos! I love places like this. It’s cool when you can find small details that really stand out in an image. I really like the shot with the green door. It pops out at me! On a side note you say you bracket 13 exposures. Do you use a promote for that or just manually adjust the camera?

    • Hey Michael, thank you a ton for your kind words!! I really appreciate your support my friend, it means a lot…. As for your question, I have a Sony a200 camera, so I manually adjust the camera. I do 1/3 EV steps so the range is from -2.0 to +2.0. I don’t do a lot of 13 bracket images as for the most part I find that 3 or 5 brackets are sufficient for my work. But for the first two in today’s post the lighting was difficult and I really wanted every little detail to come through. Photomatix needed quite the amount of time to do the merge… LOL Hope this answers your question my friend, don’t hesitate to ask anything!! 🙂

      • Thanks for the response. I shoot with a Canon so I bracket just 3 shots from -2.0 to +2.0 but sometimes they don’t always bring out he detail I want if there is a lot of tonal range. Sometimes I try to autobracket more shots by adjusting the exposure compensation up and down but that always seems to take to long. Great information here! Thanks so much!

      • Thanks for your info, I really appreciate knowing a bit about your work as well. It’s really a bit of a new field, this HDR processing, so it’s great having peers to share and learn with.

  9. avatar Sirfishalot says:

    Beautiful captures here Toad! Very nice composition and processing on them. I especially enjoy the entry portals in #2 and #3 but the entire set is very strong. Great work.

  10. avatar Heath O'Fee says:

    Nice work on this series, dude. This is probably my favourite subset of the shots you’ve shared so far 🙂

  11. avatar johnsotiriou says:

    Really enjoyed this series. Fantastic imagery! Thanks for sharing.

  12. avatar Rhonda Gomez says:

    Enchanting place, amazing artistry! My favorite shot is the inner circle garden near the sea. This whole series reminds me of Annabel Lee by Poe

    “For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
    And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
    And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
    Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
    In the sepulchre there by the sea,
    In her tomb by the sounding sea.”

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful vision with us.

    • That is absolutely wonderful, thank you SO much for leaving these comments! Visitors like yourself and the fantastic comments you’ve shared really spur us on to keep working. We really appreciate you taking the time to leave those words, thank you so very much!!