Stephen Studd Photography

Travel Gardens Plants

Malvern Autumn Show 2011

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Spent a fantastic couple of days at Malvern Autumn Show on a photography commission. I really like Malvern Shows as the showground has such a spectacular backdrop of the Malvern Hills behind.

A 5am start on both days to arrive at sunrise paid dividends as always. The early bird really does catch the worm!

I headed straight to the show gardens which were undercover, a bonus for the designers at this time of year, good for me in that the plants remained still, although the lighting was not that brilliant, especially on the Sunday. Amazing though to get down to 5 second exposures at 100 ISO and no movement in the plants.

Awarded Silver Gilt Flora; The Old Kiln Yard designed by Paul Taylor of Alchemy Gardens, sponsored by The Cottage Herbery celebrating their 35th Anniversary

"The Old Kiln Yard" designed by Paul Taylor of Alchemy Gardens, plants supplied by the Cottage Herbery

I really liked Mark Walker`s “Somerset Pride” garden, though “The Old Kiln Yard” designed by Paul Taylor of Alchemy Gardens was also a favourite for me. Both gardens had that rustic retro feel which I am drawn to at the moment. The Cottage Herbery sponsored Pauls garden celebrating their 35th year of Organic production. My allotment and garden are also organic so was very drawn to this.

Having worked as a Travel photographer for 20+ years, a chance commission three years ago, by Rachel Corby to illustrate her book “The Medicine Garden” a guide to Herbs and their uses, sent me on this journey as a Gardens & Plants photographer.

Medicine Garden by Rachel Corby Cover, Photography Stephen Studd
Medicine Garden by Rachel Corby Cover, Photography Stephen Studd

All gardens featured a great selection of herbs, especially Pauls, the Malabar Spinach and Mitsuba Japanese Parsley were both really eye catching plants.

 
Best in Show was awarded to Mark Walker for his rustic retro garden “Somerset Pride” awarded Silver Gilt Flora.
 
Awarded Silver Gilt Flora and Best In Show; Somerset`s Pride, designed by Mark Walker, Walker`s Garden Retreats

"Somerset Pride" designed by Mark Walker, old photo feel from Lightroom

 

This shot has been worked in Lightroom 3 to give it the vintage photo look and feel. The garden was about the encroachment of building land on to old farming land. Losing valuable farmland in these times of  Global food insecurity, peak oil  is an important issue which Marks garden dealt with visually and with great planting and styling.  The film “Food Inc”  shows to me how important grow local eat seasonal is to me
 
 
The home made produce and old sign were very nostalgic. In times of austerity there is a place in the past we hanker for, when things were simpler and less complicated.
Awarded Silver Gilt Flora and Best In Show; Somerset`s Pride, designed by Mark Walker, Walker`s Garden Retreats

Produce for sale down on the "Somerset Pride" farm

So few people have the time to make wonderful chutney`s and jams in their busy lives. I consider myself fortunate that I have an organic allotment which provides produce for my chutneys and killer picalilli, yes I also grow very hot chillies, a taste acquired from my years as a travel photographer.

Mark used reclaimed materials for his garden, something that has been put to good use on my own allotment.

Awarded Silver Gilt Flora and Best In Show; Somerset`s Pride, designed by Mark Walker, Walker`s Garden Retreats

Reclaimed and reused elements of the garden

 My favourite part of the garden was the rusty old bike with an old metal bucket with mulched strawberry plants in, behind this an amazing harvest of different veg and actual wheatsheafs.

Awarded Silver Gilt Flora and Best In Show; Somerset`s Pride, designed by Mark Walker, Walker`s Garden Retreats

Awarded Silver Gilt Flora and Best In Show; Somerset`s Pride, designed by Mark Walker, Walker`s Garden Retreats

Paul Taylors “The Old Kiln Yard” was another garden using reclaimed materials, herbs and veg giving it a very rustic feel too.

Awarded Silver Gilt Flora; The Old Kiln Yard designed by Paul Taylor of Alchemy Gardens, sponsored by The Cottage Herbery celebrating their 35th Anniversary

"The Old Kiln Yard" designed by Paul Taylor of Alchemy Gardens

 There was a great mix of edible and medicinal plants in the garden all tightly packed to keep the weeds out. This garden did make me want to taste the plants as there was such a great variety. I couldn`t resist buying some packets of seeds from the Cottage Herbery, especially cannot wait to grow the seeds of the climbing Malabar Spinach and Mitsuba Japanese Parsley.

Dark leaves of Japanese Spinach and top right climbing Malabar Spinach

Pauls rill was really subtle but highly effective, the water passing through the planting into the rusted grate above, giving a pleasing sound and lovely flow.

Awarded Silver Gilt Flora; The Old Kiln Yard designed by Paul Taylor of Alchemy Gardens, sponsored by The Cottage Herbery celebrating their 35th Anniversary

Water flowing down the rill.

 Caroline Butler who was the winner of the Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship 2011 designed the Bradstone Vitality Garden. Her garden concept was based around the seed and the vitality they give to us, the start of it all. The planting was mixed and represented some of the plants used for herbal remedies as well as food. Unlike the other gardens all materials were new and for my taste the two walls were slightly dominant, though to be fair with weathering in the UK would be softened quickly. The seat laid into one of the walls was a great touch.

Awarded Silver Gilt Flora; The Bradstone Vitality Garden, designed by Caroline Butler, Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship Winner 2011

Stone seat laid into wall, designed by Caroline Butler

Caroline has a great artistic eye and is not afraid to try out new things, I really liked her use of lines and curves taking your eye through and around the garden.

Awarded Silver Gilt Flora; The Bradstone Vitality Garden, designed by Caroline Butler, Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship Winner 2011

Awarded Silver Gilt Flora; The Bradstone Vitality Garden, designed by Caroline Butler, Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship Winner 2011

The two curved walls worked well and showed the plants off against its darker stone.

Awarded Silver Gilt Flora; The Bradstone Vitality Garden, designed by Caroline Butler, Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship Winner 2011

Awarded Silver Gilt Flora; The Bradstone Vitality Garden, designed by Caroline Butler, Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship Winner 2011

The Malvern Autumn show for me is a celebration of all the hard work put in through the year and the fruits of our labour. Giant veg is not really my thing but there were some true giants to be seen.

Giant Cabbages

Giant Cabbages

Great displays of  grown produce and Dahlia competition.

Prize winning veg

Prize winning veg

R.V Porter had an expansive display of Orchard fruit, gaining a Gold Medal. The display showed an amazing array of Heritage varieties of apples and pears.

Heritage British Apple and Pear display at Malvern autumn show 2011

Heritage British Apple and Pear display at Malvern autumn show 2011

The Dahlia competition showed them off to perfection. This one was my favourite as it reminded me of the last of the heat from the sun in Autumn before we all start turning inwards to be warmed by the heat from our fires.

Fiery Dahlia

Fiery Dahlia

Thanks to all at Malvern for their entheusiasm and passion for all things horticultural. Now for me a few days off to make use of this hot weather to get my garden and allotment into shape for winter.

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Author: Stephen Studd Photography

Stephen graduated from LCP in London in 1987 with a 2:1 BA Honours degree in photography. Since then he has travelled the world as a professional freelance travel & garden photographer. His photography has been published in many areas around the globe; from front cover of National Geographic magazine, to countless travel books, brochures and print media. His work has also been used in many advertising campaigns, with clients such as Fiat, Citigroup, Caribou Coffee, Expedia, BBC and countless others and his photography has picked up numerous international awards.. Stephen leads travel photography holidays and tours to Burma, Cambodia, Angkor Wat, Vietnam & the USA. He also leads Bluebell photography workshops in Gloucestershire and landscape photography workshops in the Gower, Wales. http://www.digitalphotographyholidays.com Stephen can be contacted for commissions via his photography website.

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