Wabi Sabi Coneflowers

Wabi Sabi Coneflowers

Wabi Sabi Coneflowers © 2011 Bo Mackison

“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.” ~Lydia M. Child

One of the things I am reminded of as I photograph flowers throughout the seasons is the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Often I work to get a flower in great condition, going to such lengths as brushing the specks of dust from the petals, blowing off tiny insects, or pushing dead leaves and blossoms out of the frame of the composition.  I’d rather do that preliminary fussing rather than spending extra time creating an unblemished flower using post processing. But I also intentionally take lots of photos of flowers in all stages of their growth – bud, opening bloom, fully in flower, drooping, dropping petals, and finally the seed head.

Coneflowers are one of my favorite flowers to shoot in all stages of their life cycle. There is something about a coneflower that has drooping petals or even completely shriveled, browning petals that is infinitely interesting to me.

Coneflowers are such a great example of floral wabi-sabi.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is often inspired by wabi-sabi in her photographs.


About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Joanna Paterson says:

    Flowers are such wonderful teachers aren’t they Bo? I’ve learned such a lot from bending down and teasing out their photographs, even when they stubbornly won’t play 😉

    I love this picture – it has a very reassuring quality, that all will be well, even as everything changes.

  2. Taking a quick peak at the title, I thought it said WASABI, as in the Japanese ingredient, LOL. Nice photo it is indeed

  3. Gandalf says:

    Wonderful photo.

  4. Oh..is it already time for them to wilt and fade?? Their season is so short. A perfect illustration of wabi-sabi!

  5. There is something about flowers captured beyond their prime. Flowers seem to hold their grace no matter what stage they are at. I love your capture here, Bo… the composition especially as this flower stands proudly. I need to take this example and live it (grow old gracefully by standing tall and proud).

  6. Bo…I LOVE that you photographed some flowers in this phase. There is something I call the beautiful decay…beauty in the dying process can be glorious! Thank you.

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