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Capturing the Beauty of Plants

In the February issue of Outdoor Photography magazines Holiday & Courses guide, I give my tips for capturing the beauty of plants.

Digital photography holidays, tours, workshops courses to Cambodia, Vietnam USA and landscape photography workshops courses in the UK, Wales, Gower

After 30 years as a professional travel and landscape photographer I have a good understanding of the natural world, having spent many a day bunkered down and immersed in the natural environment with my Mamiya 6×7 camera (pre-digital) waiting for the right light conditions that I wished to capture. So when I was approached to produce photographs of plants for a book 10 years ago, I jumped to the challenge. It led me down a whole new branch of photographic exploration, plant photography.

As with any aspect of photography, after initial trials you find your feet and style. My approach to plant photography really moved on from the initial commission for the book. I am far more interested in the art of plant photography and what makes one photograph really stand out from the others?

There are certain elements that you need to consider when making a great shot.

  • Explore your subject before rushing to photograph it, walk around and see what you are drawn to, see how the light plays on the plant. Think about your composition, how is the subject going to fill the frame? Backlit flowers will always look good if the petals are translucent as it accentuates the colours, giving off a luminescence and showing off the patterns. Don`t be afraid to try out different angles, getting down to the same height as the plant is very effective, or look up to flowers from below them.

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  • Time of day is an important consideration when taking your photographs. Harsh midday sun makes most subjects look unflattering. Early morning or late afternoon are the best times of day as the light is warmer, less harsh and the colours of the plants look richer.

Iris close up

Mornings also tend to be less windy, flowers are hard to photograph when they are moving around too much. Windy days are the toughest to photograph flowers on, unless you choose to use the blur creatively with a slower shutter speed.

  • Weather conditions are most important. Most people are surprised to hear that overcast days can be very beneficial for plant photography. This is because clouds act as a perfect light diffuser, creating even lighting and saturation without the worry of harsh highlights or shadows.

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  • The background of your photograph needs consideration as untidy, busy, cluttered backgrounds kill a shot as the viewers eye gets distracted away from the subject. If there are shadows use them to make the subject stand out, or move in closer to the subject with a tight crop.

Dahlia "Bobby Dazzler"

  • For close ups I would always recommend the use of a tripod, they allow you to frame the plant perfectly and keep the image sharp. Also, look at the flower you are photographing to make sure it is free of blemishes or missing petals.

plant and Flower photography workshops courses with Stephen Studd of Digital Photography holidays

Experiment and have fun, try out new angles, backgrounds and processes you might be surprised with the results you obtain capturing the beauty of plants.



Flower photography workshops can be found on my website www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Photography holidays & courses to Cambodia,  Vietnam, Marrakech the USA and the Gower, can be found on my website www.digitalphotographyholidays.com
‘May the light be with you’

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IGPOTY – Flowering Agave – behind the photo

Pleased that I have been Highly Commended in this years International Garden Photographer of the Year competition, in the wildflower landscapes category with this shot taken at the Grand Canyon in the late afternoon.

Grand Canyon National Park USA IGPOTY Stephen Studd Wildflower landscapes

After I had driven to an observation point I went for a look around the area to see where the late afternoon light was hitting for a landscape photograph.

On top of a steep rocky outcrop I saw the small agave plant with the tall yellow flower head shining brightly in the sun that was hitting it. I immediately thought that it would be a great image to take for the IGPOTY competition. There was a fair bit of cloud around so I had to move quickly as it looked like the sun would disappear behind a cloud at any moment, plus the nearest rocky outcrop was starting to go in to shadow.

Setting up my Canon 6D camera as quickly as I could on top of my Manfrotto tripod, I waited until the sun was at the base of the Agave whilst still lighting up the flower head. I had positioned the camera so the flower head sat in the shadow of the background of the Grand Canyon between the two sections that had sunlight on them, that way the flower head would really shine out of the shadow. I also chose to take the image in portrait orientation as I liked the tall flower head against the backdrop of the vertical cliffs, emphasising the height of the Grand Canyon against a moody looking sky.

As my camera was on the tripod I could keep the ISO down at 100, I set the aperture at f22 as I wanted a very large depth of field with the flower head in focus to the furthest point you can see in the distance which is more than 70 miles away. I also used a 0.6ND soft graduated filter to keep all the detail in the clouds.

Within 5 minutes the scene was over as the sun disappeared behind the clouds.

If you get a chance to see the IGPOTY exhibition at Kew I would thoroughly recommend a trip to see it. Not only will you get to see the beautiful exhibition and prints, but also the very inspirational grounds and plants at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London.


I lead photography holidays and workshops in Cambodia, Vietnam, Marrakech the USA and the UK.  www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

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Kinetic Musical Troughs and Colour – a glance back at RHS Chelsea 2017.

Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  Beneath A Mexican Sky garden,Taking my first peek at the show last year on the Sunday before press day,  Manoj Malde’s ‘Beneath a Mexican Sky’ garden stopped me in my tracks with it’s in your face bold use of colour. Having spent some time in Mexico myself I know that Mexicans are not shy of using colour.

Manoj’s garden had a quiet, relaxed feeling to it and had one of my favourite plants Agave Americana, showing the blue green colours against the orange wall and turquoise water feature.

Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  Beneath A Mexican Sky garden,

Walking around taking in the show gardens I noticed that there seemed to be a predominant colour palette of reds, oranges and yellows coming through, as seen here in Charlotte Harris’s RBC Garden with planting of Aquilegia canadensis with Zizia aurea.Photographer: Stephen Studd, The Royal Bank of Canada Garden,  D

The Hagakure Hidden Leaves garden designed by Shuko Noda was framed in red, picturing another tranquil, peaceful and calming space._MG_8459

As a professional garden photographer at Chelsea, I know that one of the hardest spots for a garden designer to fill is the one that Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins ‘The Silk Road’ garden filled dramatically and really showcased the colour scheme of yellows, reds and oranges in such a large scale._MG_8674The Viking Cruises ‘Garden of Inspiration’ by Sarah Eberle had bright vivid mosaics and of course the orange tree to take you straight to the Med._MG_8464The Breast Cancer Now Garden: Through the Microscope designed by Ruth Willmott_MG_8611used the colour palette of oranges, reds and yellows to great effect._MG_8613

A new feature at the show in 2017 were the BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens, which were designed to uplift the senses and encourage people to lose themselves in the sights, scents, sounds, flavours and textures.

The Zoe Ball Listening Garden, designed by Skipper of the light fandango, James Alexander-Sinclair was another show stopper with the kinetic musical troughs. They were mesmerizing, just watching the sound waves ripple on the water and seeing what patterns they produced _MG_8504with the occasional splash from deep bass sound, a novel idea well executed._MG_8507The Anneka Rice ‘Colour Cutting’ garden designed by Sarah Raven was a colourful garden which had a lovely retro, nostalgic feel to it._MG_8731

The garden was a riot of colour which was blended together with great talent._MG_9075

As an allotment holder, the Chris Evans ‘Taste Garden’ designed by Jon Wheatley, reminded me of visits as a young child to my Uncle Harry’s garden in Ipswich, whilst giving me allotment envy.Photographer: Stephen Studd - The BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Taste Garden garden, from right to left: Cabbage 'Red Jewel, Kale 'Reflex' Kale 'Redbor', lettuce 'Red Iceberg', Leek 'Cumbria', with nasturtium 'Tall mixed', sweetcorn 'Sundance', runner bean 'StThe vegetable garden also reflected the warm colours of reds and bronzes.Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Taste Garden garden, Lettuce from right to left, 'Red Iceberg', 'Nymans', 'Lettony', Designer: Jon Wheatley

The Jeremy Vine ‘Texture Garden’ designed by Matt Keightley had so many great design ideas packed in to a small space, wow what a wall that was and great use of oversized irregular-shaped paving stones that created a feeling of space.Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Texture Garden, Stone path over pond, concrete wall inlaid with moss balls, Acer Griseum, Euphorbia 'Fens Ruby',  Euphorbia 'Whistleberry Garnet',  Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum', Stipa tenuiMatt’s sumptuous planting truly showcased beautiful flower, grass and conifer plant combinations alike.

Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Texture Garden, Acer Griseum, Prunus serrula, Iris germanica 'Kent Pride', Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum', Pinus mugo 'Mughus', Pinus mugo 'Pumilio', Stipa tenuissima, Calamagrostis x acutifl
Prunus serrula, Iris germanica ‘Kent Pride’, Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’, Pinus mugo ‘Mughus’ & ‘Pumilio’, Stipa tenuissima, Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’, Calamagrostis brachytricha, Melica altissima ‘Alba’, Pimpinella major ‘Rosea’, Foeniculum vulgare ‘Giant Bronze’

His garden really stood out with the combination of textures in it and coppery red tones with the grasses catching the sunlight transforming their colours whilst waving gently in the wind.Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Texture Garden, Verbascum 'Firedance', Iris germanica 'Kent Pride', Stipa tenuissima, Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum', Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster', Calamagrostis brachytricha, M

Copper was used to great effect in Charlotte Harriss’s garden with the patinated copper pavilion._MG_8744

The sunrise light on the Breaking Ground garden, designed by Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam had a striking copper wall and Stipa gigantean and other grasses again absorbing the warm morning light.Photographer: Stephen Studd - The Breaking Ground Garden, Sunrise over the garden, Stipa gigantica, Melica altissima 'Alba', Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna', Salvia greggii 'Nachtvlinder', Verbascum phoeniculum 'Violetta', Pimpinella major 'Rosea', Designer:

Finally the RHS ‘Greening Grey Britain‘ garden designed by Professor Nigel Dunnett was brimming full of take away ideas. The living roof over the wheelie bins, growing herbs and edibles was a great idea, even down to the wooden legs with drilled holes for solitary insects._MG_9143-EditThe very contemporary urban garden showcased the principles of sustainable rainwater management, with naturalistic informal planting set against the strong shapes and forms of the paths and hard surfaces. Greening Grey Britain Garden Nigel Dunnett RHS Chelsea Flower ShThe RHS ‘Greening Grey Britain‘ campaign is addressing the fact that we are paving over the UK, which is harmful to wildlife and is damaging to the nation’s health, whilst putting homes at more risk from flooding. Working with communities to transform neglected spaces into beautiful ones, researching about plants that can make the most difference to the environment and showcasing inspirational gardening at their shows and gardens. These spaces at the shows are always inspirational as they are achievable in our own spaces, no matter how small they are, helping everyonewith ideas to “get Greening Grey Britain, one plant at a time.”  _MG_8436

With the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 countdown on, I look forward to seeing the new trends in garden design at the show this year.Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Texture Garden, sun reflected in small pond, Verbascum 'Firedance', Pinus mugo, Stipa tenuissima, Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster', Calamagrostis brachytricha, Melica altissima 'Alba'


My garden and travel photography website is: www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Flower photography workshops & photography holidays: Digital Photography Holidays

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Step Inside the Quarry Garden at RHS Chatsworth

This year was the very first RHS Flower Show set in the beautiful grounds of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. Paul Hervey-Brookes designed the Quarry Garden for the Institute of Quarrying, which celebrates it’s centenary this year.

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

The garden won a well deserved RHS Gold Medal and also won Best Show Garden & Best Construction. The commissioned “Passing Light” steel and stone wall was designed by Stroud based sculptor Ann Margreth Bohl.

 

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,  11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

Paul Hervey-Brookes, winning Gold & Best in Show, with Gareth Wilson with Best Construction award at RHS Chatsworth Flower Show.

The gardens influence was the life cycle of a quarry, with the owners having just built a modern house who are themselves influenced by Brutalist architecture.

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

The main water feature in the garden reminded me of visits to old quarries which were at one point an influence in my own landscape photography. The garden also made use of the sweeping Capability Brown landscape of Chatsworth House.

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

The rusted steel colours were picked up in the planting

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

and use of stone boulders in the design.

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

The garden was divided into different zones,

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

which worked well visually in such a large scale garden. It was truly a garden you could get lost in time watching the light bounce around during the days and seasons, especially from the hidden corners.

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

Paul’s planting palette was exquisite.Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

The trio of awards were well justified for a garden of such immense scale at the inaugural Chatsworth House RHS Flower Show.

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

Paul has also designed the Viking Cruises World of Discovery garden which can be seen at Hampton Court Flower Show, which runs from July 4th – 9th July 2017

Paul Hervey-Brookes website: www.paulherveybrookes.com/

Gareth Wilson Landscape Services Ltd: http://www.gkwilsonlandscaping.co.uk/

Stephen Studd Photography: www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Ann Margreth Bohl: www.annmargrethbohl.com

Institute of Quarrying: www.quarrygarden.org

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IGPOTY Awards 2015; Behind the Photos

 

 

The International Garden Photographer of the Year awards have just been announced, I was Commended in the Beautiful Gardens category for this shot of Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Morocco.

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Morocco, Marrakech, Jardin Majorelle (Yves Saint Laurent Garden)

I visited the garden a number of times as I was in Marrakech 10 days early before guests turned up for a photography city break I run there. The garden is a photographers dream with its bold colours and planting. The cobalt blue walls are a great backdrop to any plants in pots. The plant in this pot was just catching some sunlight giving depth to the composition.

I also converted it to black and white, and was going to send this one instead as I liked the simplicity of the shot.

Which one do you prefer?

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I was also Highly Commended in the Monochrome category for this shot of Chitting Potatoes.

Potatoes chitting by stephen studd Photography

Chitting Potatoes

This was taken with my 100mm Canon macro lens, shot in a north facing window in natural light. It was the two shoots that caught my eye as they looked like weird alien cartoon characters. Even from the simplest of subjects you can find something to photograph with the macro lens.

Congratulations to Magdalena Wasiczek for her overall winning shot: The Ballerinas

To see all the awards for this year follow this link

My websites: www.stephenstuddphotography.com

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RHS Tatton Park Flower Show 2014 – show gardens

I arrived at Tatton Park for a three day photo shoot, on the Monday, which is the last day of build up, to take a look at the gardens before my 5.30am access over the next 3 days. The weather forecast was for lots of sun, leaving a narrow window for pro garden photographers to shoot, as between about 8am and 6pm the bright sunlight is far too harsh.

There were a few gardens that caught my eye on my first walk around the showground, particularly the ‘See the Wind’ garden designed by Joan Mulvenna and Andrew Lee with it’s purple pink hues of the Hordeum Jubatum (ornamental barley) against the Salvia Nemorosa ‘Amethyst’.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show 'See the Wind' garden designed by Joan Mulvenna and Andrew Lee with it's purple pink hues of the Hordeum Jubatum (ornamental barley) against the Salvia Nemorosa 'Amethyst'.

‘See the Wind’ garden designed by Joan Mulvenna and Andrew Lee:  Hordeum Jubatum (ornamental barley) against the Salvia Nemorosa ‘Amethyst’.

The garden sculpture fluttering and twinkling in the breeze, with the movement of the barley, salvia, bamboo and alliums had me captivated for some time, there was a very Zen like feel to the garden, with its simplistic and also complex kinetic design.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show 'See the Wind' garden designed by Joan Mulvenna and Andrew Lee with it's purple pink hues of the Hordeum Jubatum (ornamental barley) against the Salvia Nemorosa 'Amethyst'.

‘See the Wind’ garden designed by Joan Mulvenna and Andrew Lee

The garden deservedly won a Gold and Best in Show in the Elements garden category.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show 'See the Wind' garden designed by Joan Mulvenna and Andrew Lee with it's purple pink hues of the Hordeum Jubatum (ornamental barley) against the Salvia Nemorosa 'Amethyst'.

Allium spaerocephalon in the ‘See the Wind’garden.

Bathed in late evening golden light was the Gold medal winning Reaseheath College ‘A Taste of Wythenshaw’ garden with the towers of beans growing on steel reinforcing rods, which reminded me of the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Reaseheath college A taste of Wythenshawe garden

Towers of beans in the Reaseheath college ‘A taste of Wythenshawe’ garden

The garden made maximum use of space with beds growing fruit, veg and herbs and a living food wall and columns.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Reaseheath college A taste of Wythenshawe garden

Reaseheath college ‘A taste of Wythenshawe’ garden

Another garden that utilised the space for fruit and veg growing with north to south running raised beds was Silver medal winning ‘The Forgotten Corner’ designed by Carl Gerrard in the Summer gardens category.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show The Forgotten Corner designed by Carl Gerrard

‘The Forgotten Corner’ designed by Carl Gerrard

It seemed touch and go whether the ‘Elemental’ garden designed by Ian Price would be finished in time for judging and it was a garden that the photographers were eager to photograph. The garden was well placed for very late evening sunset light which showed off the charred wood cladding wall perfectly.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Elemental garden designed by Ian Price.

‘Elemental’ garden designed by Ian Price.

The garden had a contemporary feel whilst also making use of reused and modern materials. It was Ian’s first show garden gaining him a Gold medal.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Elemental garden designed by Ian Price.

‘Elemental’ garden designed by Ian Price.

A favourite designer of mine is Pip Probert and her Gold medal garden ‘The Narrows’ displayed a typical long narrow suburban garden packed full of design ideas with different zones.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Pip Probert 'The Narrows' garden

Pip Probert ‘The Narrows’ garden

I particularly liked the bullrushes reflected in the still water of the pond.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Pip Probert 'The Narrows' garden

Pip Probert ‘The Narrows’ garden

There were red hot plants scattered amongst the vibrant planting in the garden, leading the eye to the red chairs in the outdoor living space at the end of the garden.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Pip Probert 'The Narrows' garden

‘The Narrows’ garden designed by Pip Probert, outdoor living area.

In the Show Gardens category, Best in Show and Gold medal went to ‘Maggie’s Forest Garden’ designed by Amanda Waring and Laura Arison first time show garden designers . The swings by Sitting Spiritually had carved on them ‘A Haven of Peace’ and ‘Warm and Inviting’ which summed up the forest garden inspired design as a space to connect with nature whilst creating a sense of wellbeing.

RHS tatton Park flower show 2014 Maggie's Forest Garden designed by Amanda Waring and Laura Anson

Maggie’s Forest Garden designed by Amanda Waring and Laura Arison

The garden certainly had a calming effect when looking at it, with the gentle flow of water through the rill falling gently in to the pond below.

RHS tatton Park flower show 2014 Maggie's Forest Garden designed by Amanda Waring and Laura Anson

Maggie’s Forest Garden designed by Amanda Waring and Laura Arison

In the Summer Garden category Best in Show went to another first time show garden designer Caroline Lord with her ‘Industrial Transitions’ garden, which used mainly reclaimed materials and was inspired by Manchester’s industrial heritage.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Caroline Lord garden Industrial Transitions

Caroline Lord garden Industrial Transitions

The reused diesel tank made into a water feature with Rudbeckia hirta set against it.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Caroline Lord garden Industrial Transitions

Caroline Lord garden Industrial Transitions

The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) garden ‘Vogue’ designed by Belinda Belt won a Silver Gilt medal. The design was sleek and contemporary with a huge 100mm thick laser cut stone wall feature which weighed over a ton.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Belinda Belt 'Vogue' garden

‘Vogue’ garden designed by Belinda Belt

I did feel for the Dutch team Clusius College who had a disaster with a water tank breakage on the day of judging in their ‘Digital Green’ garden which only made bronze medal.

'Digital Green' by Clusius College students at RHS Tatton Park flower show 2014

‘Digital Green’ by Clusius College students

They had a very innovative use for reused old computer keyboard parts in their garden.

'Digital Green' by Clusius College students at RHS Tatton Park flower show 2014

‘Digital Green’ by Clusius College students at RHS Tatton Park flower show 2014

I had a déjà vu feeling when I saw The Water Garden designed by Harry Levy which won a Silver medal, because of the yellow summerhouse that featured in last years design.

RHS Tatton park flower show 2014 The Water Garden designed by Harry Levy.

RHS Tatton park flower show 2014 The Water Garden designed by Harry Levy.

This years Tatton Park show can be described as extremely hot.

RHS Tatton park flower show 2014 Element Garden designed by Michael Vinsun

‘Element’ Garden designed by Michael Vinsun

At this years Tatton Park flower show it was good to see so many new show garden designers getting their first Gold medals and Best in Show awards. Tatton Park is now the showcase for the Young Designer of the Year award, which I have covered in a separate blog entry.

Thanks to everyone who makes Tatton Park show the jewel in the North West’s horticultural calendar, I look forward to returning next year.


For photography commissions my website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com

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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RHS Young Designer of the Year 2014 – show gardens at Tatton Park

This years theme for the RHS young designers was ‘Avant Gardening’ where the contenders were encouraged to have a daring touch of invention showing new techniques with experimentation. The three contenders that were chosen to design their first show garden at Tatton Park were, Sam Ovens, Clare Broadbent and Alex Schofield under the mentorship of Paul Hervey-Brookes an international multi award winning garden designer.

The winning garden was ‘The Sky’s the Limit’ designed by Sam Ovens who said of his garden “I wanted to show that sometimes the simplest things are the best things,” his garden also picked up a Gold medal.

RHS Young Garden Designer of the Year award winner Sam Ovens - The Sky's the Limit garden at Tatton Park Cheshire RHS flower show 2014

2014 RHS Young Garden Designer of the Year award winner Sam Ovens – The Sky’s the Limit garden at Tatton Park flower show

This was the first garden myself and a colleague started photographing after having a look around the show gardens on the build up on Monday. It had an air of relaxation and calmness and the backlit Stipa Gigantea were very eye catching in the evening light at 7pm. The area the young designers are given at Tatton is perfectly placed for sunrise and evening light, a photographers dream.

RHS Young Garden Designer of the Year award winner Sam Ovens - The Sky's the Limit garden at Tatton Park Cheshire RHS flower show 2014

RHS Young Garden Designer of the Year award winner Sam Ovens – The Sky’s the Limit garden at Tatton Park RHS flower show 2014

Returning the next day at 5.30am I headed straight back to Sam’s garden as I wanted to see the garden with rusted fencing bathed in the early morning glow of warm sunrise light.

RHS Young Garden Designer of the Year award winner Sam Ovens - The Sky's the Limit garden at Tatton Park Cheshire RHS flower show 2014

Sam Ovens – The Sky’s the Limit garden bathed in sunrise light.

His garden had small concrete stepping stones leading to the decking and the seating area.

RHS Young Garden Designer of the Year award winner Sam Ovens - The Sky's the Limit garden at Tatton Park Cheshire RHS flower show 2014

Concrete stepping stones in Sam Ovens garden at Tatton Park.

The rest of the garden was densely planted with many varieties of grasses and ferns, with plants such as Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’, Verbena bonariensis and Agastache ‘Blackadder’ scattered amongst them.

RHS Young Garden Designer of the Year award winner Sam Ovens - The Sky's the Limit garden at Tatton Park Cheshire RHS flower show 2014

Dense planting in Sam Ovens garden.

Sam has a very bright future ahead of him after winning the coveted award of young designer of the year 2014.

 

Another Gold Medal garden and finalist was WorkOUT designed by Clare Broadbent (Horticon Design), which had an outdoor gym theme.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show WorkOUT garden designed by Clare Broadbent one of the Young Designer of the Year Awards - Gold medal

WorkOUT garden designed by Clare Broadbent- Gold medal winner

This wasn’t a garden that I warmed to, maybe because I joined a gym once and didn’t really like the machines, I find gardening in my organic garden and allotment, carrying around heavy photographic gear workout enough. The design had lots of strong ideas such as the rowing machine that had Archimedes’ screws which aerates the pond whilst also creating a workout and the exercise bike turned a water wheel in the pond. I liked the pommel horse bench idea.

Archimedes’ screws that offer workout opportunities and also aerates the pond

Archimedes’ screws that offer workout opportunities and also aerates the pond

One of the gardens that lots of the photographers immersed themselves in was Prehistoric Modernism by Alex Schofield which was awarded a Silver Gilt. The garden was designed for sun worshippers and had coloured Perspex panels in burnt frames to highlight the concept of heat.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Prehistoric Modernism garden designed by Alex Schofield one of the Young Designer of the Year Awards - Silver Gilt

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Prehistoric Modernism garden designed by Alex Schofield one of the Young Designer of the Year Awards – Silver Gilt

The panels created their own micro climates and optical lighting effects around the garden. I liked the Echinacea ‘White Spider’ that were scattered around the garden, especially the ones placed by the coloured panels.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Prehistoric Modernism garden designed by Alex Schofield one of the Young Designer of the Year Awards - Silver Gilt

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Prehistoric Modernism garden designed by Alex Schofield one of the Young Designer of the Year Awards – Silver Gilt

As a garden photographer it was tough to get an overall shot of the garden without it having a show garden setting as the design was open plan with no walls as a backdrop to hide any of the tents or fencing.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Prehistoric Modernism garden designed by Alex Schofield one of the Young Designer of the Year Awards - Silver Gilt

Alex’s garden with two tiered lounge decking seating area and Feuerring fire.

Despite this Alex’s garden had lots of very strong visual angles to look at and photograph, I will be following his career.

Tatton Park 2014 Cheshire RHS flower show Prehistoric Modernism garden designed by Alex Schofield one of the Young Designer of the Year Awards - Silver Gilt

Prehistoric Modernism garden designed by Alex Schofield

Tatton Park is a showcase for the young designers and I wish them all the best in their garden design careers, with a special congratulations to the overall winner Sam Ovens. I look forward to following all their careers in the future and I look forward to next years competition.


For photography commissions my website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com

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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