Stephen Studd Photography

Travel Gardens Plants

A garden photographers reflection on the show gardens at RHS Tatton Park show 2012

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The one thing I remember about going up to Tatton Park last year was the drive there in rain the likes of I haven`t seen before, except in the monsoon in Asia. I nearly turned back twice as the road conditions were so bad, though I am pleased I didn`t. The wet summer of 2012, Diamond Jubilee year is now legendary..

The Diamond Garden designed by Russell Watkinson awarded Bronze Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

The Diamond Garden designed by Russell Watkinson awarded Bronze

Today sweltering in 30C heat in my studio, conditions are looking much better for the exhibitors and designers (though undoubtedly of course this year it will be too hot!)

The Mornflake garden won Gold and Best Show Garden. I had to wait some time to get some good photographs of this garden as the wind was quite fierce and light not so good until one evening when the sun filtered through, which quite often happens at Tatton.

The Mornflake garden designed by Janine Crimmins awarded Gold and Best Show Garden Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

The Mornflake garden designed by Janine Crimmins awarded Gold and Best Show Garden Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

The stonework for this garden was really well executed and the stone circle above had me transfixed at the craftsmanship.

The Mornflake garden designed by Janine Crimmins awarded Gold and Best Show Garden Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

The Mornflake Garden designed by Janine Crimmins awarded Gold and Best Show Garden Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

As a garden, travel and landscape photographer I walk around the gardens before photographing them to see which ones catch my eye (invariably they turn out to be show winners). Last years show there were a few that I wanted to train my lens on and I hoped for good light.

Owen Morgans show garden To the Beat won Gold and Best in Show in the orchestra gardens category.

To the Beat designed by Owen Morgan awarded Gold Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

To the Beat designed by Owen Morgan awarded Gold Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

Again in that early evening Tatton light the garden really came to life and was one of my favourites along with The Science of Strings designed by Brendan Vaughan & Leon Davis. I remember taking some time over this garden and Brendan coming over for a chat, I told him I was taking some time, which was a good sign, it was later awarded gold.

The Science of Strings designed by Brendan Vaughan & Leon Davis awarded Gold Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

The Science of Strings designed by Brendan Vaughan & Leon Davis awarded Gold Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

One of the reasons I like photographing at Tatton is there are usually some very innovative gardens.

Borinda paperifyra bamboo Untie the Wind garden designed by Sheena Seeks awarded Gold & BEST VISIONARY GARDEN

Borinda Paperifyra bamboo Untie the Wind garden designed by Sheena Seeks awarded Gold & Best Visionary Garden
Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

In my own garden and organic allotment I like to incorporate reused materials. I was tipped off on twitter to check out Tristen Knight`s garden Brownfield Beauty which was inspired by a passion for 19th and early 20th century industrial architecture on brownfield sites. His rill incorporated reused materials and gained him the title of RHS National Young Designer of the Year.

Brownfield Beauty garden designed by Tristen Knight awarded Gold and RHS National Young Designer of the Year Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

Brownfield Beauty garden designed by Tristen Knight awarded Gold and RHS National Young Designer of the Year Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

Brownfield Beauty garden designed by Tristen Knight awarded Gold and RHS National Young Designer of the Year Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

Brownfield Beauty garden designed by Tristen Knight awarded Gold and RHS National Young Designer of the Year Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

I also liked the use of this old red letter box in the Sister Suffragette garden designed by Janet Leigh.

Sister Suffragette designed by Janet Leigh awarded Silver Gilt Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

Sister Suffragette designed by Janet Leigh awarded Silver Gilt Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

I am pleased that gardens are getting more and more insect friendly and each year more innovative, though I did have mixed views about this tower block insect hotel.

Nature Squared designed by Reaseheath College FdSc Garden & Landscape design year 2 awarded Silver Gilt Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

Nature Squared designed by Reaseheath College FdSc Garden & Landscape design year 2 awarded Silver Gilt Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

Though the garden was very eye catching.

Nature Squared designed by Reaseheath College FdSc Garden & Landscape design year 2 awarded Silver Gilt Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

Nature Squared designed by Reaseheath College FdSc Garden & Landscape design year 2 awarded Silver Gilt Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

This garden I sat in one evening after a long 2 days of photography and felt really relaxed and contemplative in it.

A Prison Garden for Rehabilitation through Wellbeing garden designed by Katharine Wills awarded Silver Gilt Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

A Prison Garden for Rehabilitation through Wellbeing garden designed by Katharine Wills awarded Silver Gilt Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

I look forward to seeing the new look RHS Tatton show for 2013 as it has been re- designed into four colour coded zones to make it easier for visitors to find areas they are interested in, lets hope it doesn`t miss out the innovative gardens.

The Bombe designed by Heather & Gareth Battisson-Howard awarded Silver Gilt Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

The Bombe designed by Heather & Gareth Battisson-Howard awarded Silver Gilt Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

I am a member of the Garden Media Guild and secretary of the Professional Garden Photographers Association. I specialise in photographing show gardens, allotments, organic gardens, plant portraits and illustrating books & magazine articles.

To view my portfolio and to discuss commissions please visit my website www.stephenstuddphotography.com or visit my portfolio on the PGPA site; http://www.professionalgardenphotographers.com/portfolios/stephen-studd

I also teach private 1:1 (or for small groups) sessions on garden & flower photography which are ideal for garden designers, bloggers or for those who have a keen interest in garden/flower photography. During these tailor made individual sessions you will learn quick and easy steps to produce great images and how to make them ready for your website, blog or social networking sites.

I also run photography holidays & workshops www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

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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.

2 thoughts on “A garden photographers reflection on the show gardens at RHS Tatton Park show 2012

  1. Tatton is the one show I have yet to see and I’d love to go. I can’t make this year unfortunately but maybe next. Loving the letterbox stuffed with nasturtiums and the rusty colours of the Brownfield Beauty garden. I’ve got an idea for a show garden but the trials of getting plants to perform for photos for the book has been enough to put me off the idea. 😉 I’d love to improve my own photography and I’m thinking of possibly getting a better camera so I might be picking your brain in the coming months for some advice.

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