Stephen Studd Photography

Travel Gardens Plants


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Are you sitting comfortably, Malvern Spring Festival 2015

With Malvern Spring Festival’s 30th Birthday just finished and Chelsea Flower Show looming, I wanted to share my seating highlights from Malvern this year. So take a seat and follow me round the show gardens that had seating areas.

Perhaps my favourite seats were these two cube ones made from 250 year old oak in the ‘Constraining Nature’ garden designed by Kate Durr Garden Design and sponsored by Whatley Manor and Ucare, which won Best RHS Festival Garden award and a gold medal.

RHS Malvern spring festival 2015  Constraining Nature designed by Kate Durr Garden Design Best Festival Garden award and a gold medal

For a small space garden they fitted in perfectly, the texture on them adding to their visual effect within the garden.

RHS Malvern spring festival 2015  Constraining Nature designed by Kate Durr Garden Design Best Festival Garden award and a gold medal

Another set of oak cube seats were in the ‘Genetic Conservation Garden’ designed by Tessa & Caitlin McLaughlin. The charred oak seats were designed by Chris Nangle.

RHS Malvern spring rhs show 2015 'Genetic Conservation Garden' designed by  Tessa & Caitlin McLaughlin.

These oak benches designed by Rodas Irving featured in the ‘Beating the Blues’ garden designed by Emily Sharpe, which won a Silver Gilt medal and also the Festival Gardens, RHS People’s Choice award.

Malvern spring rhs show 2015 'Beating the Blues' garden designed by Emily Sharpe, which won a Silver Gilt medal and also the Festival Gardens, RHS People's Choice award

A Gaze Burvill oak bench seat featured in Lisa Burchill’s ‘Out of Darkness’ garden.

RHS Malvern spring rhs show 2015 Lisa Burchill's 'Out of Darkness' garden Gaze Burvill

There was a corner seating area in the sunken part of the ‘Cornerstone’ garden designed by Pip Probert of Outer Spaces garden design, which was made from oak and stone.

RHS Malvern spring rhs show 2015 Pip Probert 'Cornerstone' garden Outer Spaces garden design Silver Gilt

RHS Malvern spring rhs show 2015 Pip Probert 'Cornerstone' garden Outer Spaces garden design Silver Gilt

The ‘Cotswold Way’ garden designed by Amy Perkins sponsored by Cotswold Estates & Gardens, had a Cotswold Stone bench.

RHS Malvern spring festival 2015 The Cotswold Way garden designed by Amy Perkins Silver Gilt and People's Choice best show garden

This was inside a covered seating area overlooking the garden. It won a Silver Gilt medal and also the RHS People’s Choice award best show garden.

RHS Malvern spring festival 2015 The Cotswold Way garden designed by Amy Perkins Silver Gilt and People's Choice best show garden

As an allotment holder who gardens organically with permaculture principles I am always drawn to gardens that have sustainability at heart. Hannah Genders ‘The Journey’ garden had a bench made from reused materials. The garden is to be rebuilt at Saint Michael’s Hospice in Hereford after the show.

RHS Malvern spring rhs show 2015 The Journey Garden designed by Hannah Genders Silver Gilt

Finally the ‘Bees Knees’ garden had to be my favourite garden designed for bio diversity and for pollinating insects. The seating here had to be the most portable of the gardens as the garden had a summerhouse with a giant honeycomb insect hotel.

Malvern spring rhs show 2015 The Bees Knees silver gilt designed by martyn Wilson

As I live in Stroud which became the world’s first bee guardian town, I watched with interest at dawn as the first pollinating bees started to arrive in the garden, as they had found a real treasure of pollen rich flowers. The garden was designed by Martyn Wilson of Wilson Associates Garden Design for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Malvern spring rhs show 2015 The Bees Knees silver gilt designed by martyn Wilson

I look forward to next years 31st Spring show, next stop 5 days photographing at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, keep an eye out for my blog.


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Malvern Autumn Show 2012

Malvern Autumn Show 2012 rustic display of pumpkin and squash on old wooden crates

It is always good to be back at Malvern and after the extreemly wet summer to have blazing sunshine lighting up the show with the backdrop of the Malvern Hills behind.

Heading off before sunrise I arrived at Malvern to the perfect dawn, a photographers dream. In the Good Life Pavillion I headed to the Edible Gardens. “Dig for Victory” was a garden designed by Mark Walker. The garden was set in the  40`s and 50`s complete with sandbags and an Anderson shelter.

war garden Garden Designer Mark Walker edible garden Dig For Victory awarded Silver Gilt flora Malvern Autumn show 2012

Garden Designer Mark Walker edible garden Dig For Victory awarded Silver Gilt flora Malvern Autumn show 2012

Mark always pays great attention to the styling of his gardens. Garden Designer Mark Walker edible garden Dig For Victory awarded Silver Gilt flora Malvern Autumn show 2012

Even down to weeds growing on the paths of the garden, giving it a lovely vintage always been there feel.lettuce and border

The only garden awarded a gold was “A la Mode Dining” by Surrey Gardens, with raised beds of culinary herbs and vegetables, complete with copper cooking utensils on the walls.

Designer Caspian Robertson of Surrey Gardens A la Mode Dining awarded Gold Medal in the edible gardens Malvern Autumnshow 2012

Designer Caspian Robertson of Surrey Gardens A la Mode Dining awarded Gold Medal in the edible gardens Malvern Autumnshow 2012

I was pleased to see the Cottage Herbery next to the cookery demonstration area. Now I collect old trugs but didn`t have room for this giant one full of culinary and medicinal herbs.

The Cottage Herbery display awarded Silver Gilt Giant trug planted with herbs Malvern Autumn Show 2012

The Cottage Herbery display awarded Silver Gilt Giant trug planted with herbs Malvern Autumn Show 2012

Also in the Pavillion were Pennard Plants whose seed packets of Heirloom and Heritage seeds always give me a smile. Pennard Plants Heritage and Heirloom seed packets of variety of beans on display at Malvern Autumn show 2012

There seems to be a `vintage` feel creeping into the gardening world, this basket of vegetables from the Pennard Plants display took me straight back to my mothers old shopping basket.Pennard Plants basket of fresh vegetables vintage shopping basket old fashioned Malvern Autumn Show 2012

Malvern also has a fantastic display of veg, Dahlias and other plants in the Harvest Pavillion.

Vegetable competition Malvern Autumn Show 2012

Vegetable competition Malvern Autumn Show 2012

After a very difficult year for gardeners there was an amazing display on show. I did have envy seeing tomatoes on display as mine succumbed to blight this year. The Dahlia display I am always drawn to as it is one place you get to see absolutely perfect blooms. After such difficult conditions for growing there were less for me to photograph this year, my macro lens is unforgiving close up. Dahlia seedlings

The Harvest Pavillion is a great resource for photographers of flowers for a few reasons; for close up details the flower heads remain relatively still, varieties are usually named and the light is usually great as the marquee acts as a giant soft box.

The Floral Exhibits had the usual high quality of exhibitors from Nurseries around the UK.

Gentiana Violette

Gentiana Violette, from Edrom Nursery, Scotland

Aloe Polyphylla

Aloe Polyphylla, Trewidden Nursery, South west Cornwall

Sarracenia flava all green form, pitcher plant

Sarracenia Flava; Hampshire Carniverous Plants

My plant of this show went to Dahlia Harriet G as  it had such a presence about it, with its own pure glow.Dahlia Harriet G flower close up

Malvern is the last show of the calendar that I photograph, so here`s wishing you a safe warm winter and lets all wish for much better growing conditions in 2013.