Stephen Studd Photography

Travel Gardens Plants

RHS Tatton Park Flower Show 2013 – show gardens

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After last years drive up to Knutsford for the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show in torrential rain, the omens were looking much better this year – red sky at night – photographers delight. As always for us photographers it was another early pre-dawn start, which is always made much easier with clearer weather as we are always on the search for that perfect dawn light.

The lay out at Tatton this year has changed so myself and other professional garden photographer colleagues on press day played search the show gardens. The show gardens were split into four categories, Galaxy Gardens, Large Gardens, Small gardens and an area for the RHS National Young Designer of the Year finalists gardens (of which I have devoted a seperate blog). After a quick run round looking for where the show gardens were located, there were a few gardens that really caught my eye

The “Gravitational Pull” Galaxy Garden designed by previous Gold medal winners Brendan Vaughan and Leon Davis was the first eye catcher on my way in.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 Gravitational Pull Designed by Leon Davis & Brendan Vaughan in the Galaxy Gardens category awarded Gold medal and Best Galaxy Garden

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 Gravitational Pull Designed by Brendan Vaughan and Leon Davis in the Galaxy Gardens category awarded Gold medal and Best Galaxy Garden

The garden was inspired by the gravitational forces around a black hole, particularly the gravitational pull which enables it to absorb mass from its surroundings. The conical shaped centrepiece was constructed from steel and reused scaffolding boards. Inside the cone a triangular shoot of water obscured the end of the vortex, giving a great visual effect.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 Gravitational Pull Designed by Leon Davis & Brendan Vaughan in the Galaxy Gardens category awarded Gold medal and Best Galaxy Garden

Gravitational Pull Designed by Leon Davis & Brendan Vaughan in the Galaxy Gardens category awarded Gold medal and Best Galaxy Garden

The garden had a very strong presence and was a well deserved Gold and Best Galaxy Garden.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 Gravitational Pull Designed by  Leon Davis & Brendan Vaughan in the Galaxy Gardens category awarded Gold medal and Best Galaxy Garden

Gravitational Pull Designed by Brendan Vaughan and Leon Davis in the Galaxy Gardens category awarded Gold medal and Best Galaxy Garden

I liked its cutting edge design that appears to be Brendan & Leon`s trademark at Tatton. It is also a garden that would fit in well in the Fresh Gardens section, which showcases the best in contemporary design, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

A Stainless Century designed by Phil Hirst celebrated 100 years of the invention of stainless steel by Harry Brearley in Sheffield. There was a 3m tall central stainless steel pergola, a rill depicted the pouring of molten steel from a crucible and what at first looked like bark chippings turned out to be rusted steel highlighting the importance of stainless steel as a non-corrosive material.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 A Stainless Century Designed by Phil HirstSponsored by Sanctuary Group Built by Garden Style Awarded Gold Medal and Best Large Garden

A Stainless Century Designed by Phil Hirst sponsored by Sanctuary Group built by Garden Style awarded Gold Medal and Best Large Garden

Elements in the garden were inspired by Phil`s surroundings in Sheffield, such as his decorative wall panels which are an interpretation of the car park in Sheffield known as the cheese grater.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 A Stainless Century Designed by Phil HirstSponsored by Sanctuary Group Built by Garden Style Awarded Gold Medal and Best Large Garden

A Stainless Century Designed by Phil Hirst sponsored by Sanctuary Group built by Garden Style awarded Gold Medal and Best Large Garden

There were lots of well thought out details including this fence with cut outs of objects that are made of stainless steel.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 A Stainless Century Designed by  Phil Hirst Sponsored by Sanctuary Group Built by Garden Style Awarded Gold Medal and Best Large Garden

A Stainless Century Designed by Phil Hirst awarded Gold Medal and Best Large Garden

This was Phil`s first show garden and he turned steel into Gold and won Best Large Garden.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 A Stainless Century Designed by

A Stainless Century Designed by Phil Hirst

The Mypod Garden designed by seven Landscape Architecture students from Leeds Metropolitan University was about escapism from stresses, pressures and about recuperation with a central Pod encased in a sedum living dome.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 The Mypod Garden Designed by Seven Peas in a PodBuilt by Greatscape Landscapes awarded Silver Gilt

The Mypod Garden Designed by Seven Peas in a Pod Built by Greatscape Landscapes awarded Silver Gilt and Most Creative Large Garden

The walk down into the earth had some neat details such as the circles cut out from steel on the path and the Yorkshire dry stone wall and moorland planting.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 The Mypod Garden Designed by  Seven Peas in a PodBuilt by Greatscape Landscapes awarded Silver Gilt

The Mypod Garden Designed by Seven Peas in a Pod Built by Greatscape Landscapes awarded Silver Gilt and Most Creative Large Garden

The path led down to the partly underground secluded retreat. The garden was awarded Most Creative Large Garden and Silver Gilt.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 The Mypod Garden Designed by Seven Peas in a PodBuilt by Greatscape Landscapes awarded Silver Gilt

Inside The Pod

The dawn light hitting the The Water Garden had the photographers interest.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 The Water Garden Designed by  Harry Levy Sponsored by The Pond Building Company awarded Silver Gilt

The Water Garden Designed by Harry Levy
Sponsored by The Pond Building Company awarded Silver Gilt

Usually I am waiting for warm light to hit a garden, however for the Reflections of Japan Garden I was waiting for the garden to be in shadow as I had envisioned a set of black and white photographs to give a more minimalist Zen feel to the garden.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 Reflections of Japan Designed by  Graham Hardman Sponsored by Bury Hospice awarded Gold Medal

Reflections of Japan Designed by Graham Hardman
Sponsored by Bury Hospice awarded Gold Medal

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 Reflections of Japan Designed by  Graham Hardman Sponsored by Bury Hospice awarded Gold Medal

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 Reflections of Japan Designed by  Graham Hardman Sponsored by Bury Hospice awarded Gold Medal

Reflections of Japan Designed by Graham Hardman
Sponsored by Bury Hospice awarded Gold Medal

I first spotted giant pebbles in the Brewin Dolphin Garden designed by Robert Myers at Chelsea this year, their presence gave a Zen like calming influence with their polished surface. The Networks: A Garden for Cancer Research designed by Mary Hoult also made use of them.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 Networks: A Garden for Cancer Research Designed by  Mary Hoult awarded Gold Medal

A Garden for Cancer Research Designed by Mary Hoult awarded Gold Medal

The Alzheimer’s Society “Remember to Reflect” Garden Designed by Louise Harrison had large stepping stones over a reflective pool that led to a contemporary stone seating area.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 Alzheimer's Society Remember to Reflect Garden Designed by Louise Harrison Holland Blue Tulip Garden Design Sponsored by Mills & Reeve awarded Gold medal

Alzheimer’s Society Remember to Reflect Garden Designed by Louise Harrison-Holland
Sponsored by Mills & Reeve awarded Gold medal

Having my own organic allotment I was naturally drawn to the The Home Guard-ener designed by Gary Hillery & Ken Walton of Finchale college. It was designed to show how families relied on their edible garden during the Second World War.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 The Home Guard-ener Designed by  Gary Hillery & Ken Walton Sponsored by Finchale College awarded Silver Gilt

The Home Guard-ener Designed by Gary Hillery & Ken Walton Sponsored by Finchale College awarded Silver Gilt

The layout of the show gardens took some getting used to this year as they seemed a bit too scattered around and many had distracting backgrounds for photography, but they were not short on innovation and were packed full of great inspirational ideas.

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 Gravitational Pull Designed by  Leon Davis & Brendan Vaughan in the Galaxy Gardens category awarded Gold medal and Best Galaxy Garden

Inside “Gravitational Pull”

Thanks to all the designers, builders and sponsors, I look forward to returning to Tatton in 2014 and photographing the show gardens.


 

For photography commissions my website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com please use the contact form.

I also run small group travel photography holidays and flower photography workshops www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

I am represented by GAP Photos for my garden photography: http://www.gapphotos.com/imageresults.asp?photogref=139

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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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