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..
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 stonework for this garden was really well executed and the stone circle above had me transfixed at the craftsmanship.
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.
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.
One of the reasons I like photographing at Tatton is there are usually some very innovative gardens.
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.
I also liked the use of this old red letter box in the Sister Suffragette garden designed by Janet Leigh.
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.
Though the garden was very eye catching.
This garden I sat in one evening after a long 2 days of photography and felt really relaxed and contemplative in it.
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.
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