Garden photography is something everyone can have a go at. If you don't have a garden yourself, the chances are that you'll have a relative or friend that has a nice one so pop round for a visit, as at this time of year gardens are thriving with all sorts of life.
You don't need to have lots of kit to be able to photograph a garden situation well either, a macro lens such as the 105mm f/2.8G ED IF VR along with a zoom lens like the 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR will give you the scope you need. Gardens are quite enclosed spaces with lots of relatively small objects to photograph along with the visiting birds the garden might attract, which will require you to be further away from the subject to coax them down.
Get down to ground level
Flowerbeds and displays are the main point of interest in garden photography, along with the insects and mini beasts such as worms, bees and caterpillars that you'll find around them. Here is where your macro lens will come in to enable you to get nice and close and pick your subject out from the background. You'll be kneeling down a lot and so knee pads or a mat will be handy to keep your clothes dry if the ground is damp. If you're unable to kneel for long periods of time while you compose your shots, then it may be worth investing in a small or table top tripod with legs that splay wide, enabling you to get down to floor level to shoot. The tripod will also enable you to keep the shot nice and still - something that the built-in VR in NIKKOR lenses will help with too. A shallow depth of field will be needed to pick out detail, and luckily Nikkor lenses produce lovely smooth bokeh, too.
Attract the birds
Gardens can also be a haven for birds, and this is where having a telephoto zoom or long zoom range compact comes in. Base yourself a good distance away from the feeders that will attract the birds, so you don't spook them. A tripod will be useful to hold the camera while it has a heavy lens or is at full zoom, tipping the balance slightly. Set up your equipment with a fast shutter speed so you can capture the fast moving, flitting birds with no blur. Nikkor lenses feature a fast and responsive zoom, so picking out your subject is a doddle.
Think out of the box
Gardens also present the opportunity to capture some more abstract shots of trellises, iron work and hanging baskets. These woven or sculpted structures will provide opportunity for some interesting textures and shapes in shots, and this added with the colourful flowers growing up or in these structures should make for a well-balanced photo. Think about lighting, as the time of day and harshness of light can vastly change the look of these types of images.