Look Back at Chelsea Flower Show Gardens

Photographer: Stephen Studd - The David Harber and Savills garden, view through corten rusted steel screens towards the Aeon sculpture, planted with Lupinus 'Persian Slipper', Aquilegia 'Blue Barlow', Aquilegia 'Nora Barlow' - Designer: Nic Howard - Spon

The David Harber and Savills garden: Designer: Nic Howard

As a garden photographer one of the joys of the Chelsea Flower Show is getting early access at 5.30am to witness some beautiful sunrises over the show gardens. With such a large catalogue of images I’m looking back at the past 5 years of gardens at Chelsea, a time that camera sensor technology really advanced too, allowing shots like these sunrises.

Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The M&G Garden, view of Forest of Dean stone path and patio, oak garden wall, Aquilegia chrysantha, Briza media 'Golden Bee', Euphorbia wallichii, Phlox divaricata 'Clouds of Perfume', Quercus pubescens - Designer: Cleve We

Designer: Cleve West

RHS Chelsea flower show 2015 The M&G Garden – The Retreat - designer Jo Thompson - sponsors M & G Investments awarded silver gilt medal

Designer: Jo Thompson

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:

Designers: Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam

Photographer: Stephen Studd - The Resilience Garden - Border pla

Designer: Sarah Eberle

Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The Telegraph Garden, view of bronze coated fin panels, limestone path, Isoplexis canariensis, adobe wall, Maytenus boaria, Quercus ilex, Schinus molle, -  Designer: Andy Sturgeon - Sponsor:  The Telegraph

Designer: Andy Sturgeon

Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates, 11 Lansdown, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 1BB, England, UK. landscape garden designer Viking Cruises Wellness garden gold medal RHS Chelsea Flower Show London UK 2018 photography by Stephen Studd photographer, Built by Gar

Designer: Paul Hervey-Brookes

As an organic allotment holder I am always on the look out for gardens that incorporate growing fruit and vegetables. In 2017 the BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Taste Garden designed by Jon Wheatley really had it all.

The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden designed by Mark Gregory in 2018 had a beautifully compact veg patch under a cascading Wisteria.

For small urban spaces Tom Massey found a great solution for growing your own.

A hand woven wicker compost heap was a novel idea on the garden designed by Ann-Marie Powell.

Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The RHS Greening Grey Britain Garden, woven willow compost bins, insect hotel on side of shed, Digitalis purpurea and cow parsley - Designer Anne Marie Powell - Sponsor: RHS

The cut flower garden by Sarah Raven was a delight and packed with colour.

Matt Keightley’s Radio 2 Texture garden had to have the best garden wall award.

Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Texture Garden, Stone path, concrete wall inlaid with moss balls, Acer Griseum, Euphorbia 'Fens Ruby',  Euphorbia 'Whistleberry Garnet', Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum', Stipa tenuissima, CalaHis planting in the garden was also exquisite.

I’m always fascinated by the seating used by garden designers, my all time favourite were the granite boulders by Darren Hawkes.

Stephen Studd - The Brewin Dolphin Garden - granite stone carved seats on patio area, dry stone wall -Designer Darren Hawkes Landscapes - Sponsor Brewin Dolphin awarded gold medalHere’s a selection of some more.

A garden which took me back to the colourful Mexican palette I encountered on my travels was the Beneath A Mexican Sky garden designed by Manoj Malde.

Favourite water feature was Jo Thompson’s natural swimming pool, one day I’ll have my own it’s on the tick list.

Stephen Studd - The M & G Garden  The Retreat -wooden jetty over natural swimming pond pool, water marginal plants -designer Jo Thompson - sponsors M & G Investments awarded silver gilt medal

These other water features I really liked.

First sauna in the garden at Chelsea, Paul Hervey-Brookes one was very enticing.

Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,  11 Lansdown, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 1BB, England, UK. landscape garden designer Viking Cruises Wellness garden gold medal RHS Chelsea Flower Show London UK 2018 photography by Stephen Studd photographer, Built by GarFor the inner child in you, who didn’t want to climb up in to the tree house designed by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge with Andree Davies and Adam White.

Photographer: Stephen Studd -The RHS Back to Nature Garden – w

During lockdown many of us are having to work from home, Chelsea had some great spaces for garden offices.

Another on my to have list is the shepherd hut by Plankbridge, office or hideaway, tbc.

Photographer: Stephen Studd - The Supershoes, Laced With Hope Garden: urban garden wall with graffiti, curved wooden bench, mixed border planted with Lupinus 'Towering Inferno', Lupinus Desert Sun', Lupinus 'Masterpiece', Geum 'Cosmopolitan'. Poppies, Al

With climate change a reality, al fresco dining areas are increasingly important areas of the garden. This one designed by Tony Woods had an outdoor kitchen, edible living wall and had water conservation at it’s heart. 

The RHS Greening Grey Britain Garden also had water conservation at it’s heart and creating spaces that are beneficial to wildlife.

Naturalistic planting is becoming more evident at Chelsea, a technique that I use in my own garden. It has been backed up in numerous studies that the colour green promotes quicker healing and recovery from illness and is also good for mental well being and stress reduction.

This softening with green can also be used in urban landscape design and community centres.

Finally the plants are the real show stoppers at Chelsea and here are some of my favourite views over the past 5 years.

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Don’t you just love Chelsea.

Photographer: Stephen Studd - The Supershoes, Laced With Hope G

Really missing Chelsea this year and seeing lots of friends there and coming home with bags full of design ideas, but looking forward to next years. Do check out this years RHS Virtual Chelsea by clicking this link.

You can also follow my Chelsea highlights on my social media channels:

Check them out here:

Facebook: Stephen Studd Photography

Instagram: Stephen Studd

Twitter: StephensPhotos

Website: Stephen Studd Photography

 

 

 

 

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

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephen-Studd-Photography/387939741345414

Twitter www.twitter.com/StephensPhotos

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+Stephenstuddphotography


 

 

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

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephen-Studd-Photography/387939741345414

Twitter www.twitter.com/StephensPhotos

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+Stephenstuddphotography


 

Articles for Landscape Juice

Last week I was approached by Carol Miers who is a journalist for Landscape Juice to write an article on the things we need to do in those winter months such as tweaking our websites. Those things we can put off and procrastinate about.

 In the articles in Landscape Juice I mentioned about captioning images for better SEO placement. Search engines won`t be able to find images unless they are captioned.

I would like to show two examples. The first image has not been captioned it just has the file number on. Hover your mouse over the image and all you will see is _R4D5147.jpg. This is not very handy for search engines to find the content of the image.

This second image is captioned and in WordPress the following have been filled in;

Title; Watering can covered in snow, winter. (Now hover the mouse over the image to see the title, this image can now be found by search engines)

Alternative Text; Watering can covered in snow, winter, photography by Stephen Studd

Caption; This is the wording that you will see below the image on the page.

Description; A description of the image.

Watering can in snow

Watering can covered in snow, winter

Also Carol asked me about advice on getting the most out of camera phones. I have to admit that in my profession I do use top end Canon digital cameras, however I do play around with my camera phone and use this more for a journal of ideas and details that interest me.

The walk to work

The walk to work

It is also useful for taking images of scenes that aren`t quite right to take at the time on my pro camera but great for my phone as a reference.

This year at the Tatton Park flower show I really liked the show garden designed by Sue Beesley of Bluebell Cottage Gardens. The planting and colour combinations I was really drawn to. This was a 5 day shoot for me so I had plenty of time to observe when the light was best at certain gardens. The Echinacea “Green Envy” amongst the grasses looked really strong. The image below is my reference shot on my camera phone.

"Grasses with Grace", Awarded Gold Medal, RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, Cheshire 2011, Designed by Sue Beesly, Bluebell Cottage Gardens & Nursery

Sue Beesley Garden "Grasses with Grace" Awarded Gold

 This was great as a reference and with the use of a compass to see where sunrise and sunset would happen, I was blessed on a later day with low level sunset light from behind the flowers to capture this shot on my Canon.

"Grasses with Grace", Awarded Gold Medal, RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, Cheshire 2011, Designed by Sue Beesly, Bluebell Cottage Gardens & Nursery

Echinacea "Green Envy", Sue Beesley Gold medal Garden, Grasses with Grace at Tatton 2011

 On the same shoot at Tatton Park I really liked the show garden designed by Gary Hillery, Ken Walton, Finchale Training College, which won a Gold. When I first got to this garden late on the first day I was looking for views. On my cameraphone I took the first shot as a reference.

"The Schedule", awarded Gold Medal, RHS Flower Show Tatton Park,

"The Schedule", awarded Gold Medal, RHS Flower Show Tatton Park,

 This second shot is the same view, but given an aged feel to it in Lightroom 3, which the garden purveyed. There are also lots of apps which could be used.

"The Schedule", awarded Gold Medal

"The Schedule", awarded Gold Medal

Finally the image below I didn`t have my camera with me, but captured this image of these Dicentra (Bleeding Heart) on my phone. In Lightroom 3 I altered the image to show how easy it is to change the feel of a photograph.

Dicentra, Bleeding Heart

Dicentra, Bleeding Heart

 The link to the articles in Landscape Juice;

Have fun creating images whichever way you choose!

I am leading some Garden and Flower photography workshops in 2012, details can be found on my website

In 2012 I will also be blogging about my allotment through the months and seasons, with photography taken on site, hope you can join me.

 

Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2011; Show Gardens

This was my first visit to Tatton Park RHS flower show and I was greatly impressed. A very friendly, fun and professional show, billed as the North`s greatest garden party.

I had access to the site from 5am for 3 days. Having not been to Tatton before the very first 5am start was a very quick orientation. The light was flat and grey for most mornings, which does work for show gardens, though at dawn I do prefer the warm soft light. This happened some evenings around 8pm.

Awarded Best in Show and Gold was the garden entitled; “Save a Life, Drop the Knife”;  garden designed by Glen Jackson & the Offenders at HMP Everthorpe. The message was clear and the garden moved from gnarly, sharp, angry urbanism through to gentle contemporary softness and peace.

"Save a Life, Drop the Knife"; garden designed by Glen Jackson & the Offenders at HMP Everthorpe

 “Grasses with Grace” by Sue Beesley of Bluebell Cottage Gardens & Nursery was my personal favourite that I kept coming back to at different times as it changed constantly. The planting was just superb, especially for a photographer, as there were so many vistas that were eye catching. I have to admit that the Echinacea “Green Envy” was also my favourite flower in the show as it was so well offset with the Sanguisorba obtusa and the  Grasses: Stipa capillata (front); & Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Bronzeschleier’ (back).

"Grasses with Grace", Awarded Gold Medal, Designed by Sue Beesly, Bluebell Cottage Gardens

 Early evening back lighting on the Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ and Agastache ‘Black Adder’ also showed off the grasses  Molinia caerulea ‘Transparent’ (left) ; Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster (back)

Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’, Achillea ‘Red Velvet’, Grasses: Molinia caerulea ‘Transparent’ (left) ; Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster (back),

Sue`s expert planting is shown here. One of the reasons this garden was my favourite as it really won its well deserved Gold through its planting. As a garden photographer often at shows the structure seems to be thought of first then planted around it. This garden shows that brilliant planting can win Gold.

"Grasses with Grace", Achillea ‘Red Velvet", Anthemis ‘E.C. Buxton’, Agastache ‘Black Adder", Sanguisorba obtusa, Grass: Stipa calamagrostis

 “The Schedule”, awarded Gold Medal was also one of my favourites. The styling was immaculately executed and it transported me back to the 1970`s visiting my Uncle Harry`s garden in Ipswich. A time when life was alot simpler and people took pride in growing things. This was another garden I kept popping back to and once again was rewarded one evening with the backlit brassicas.

"The Schedule", awarded Gold Medal, designed by Gary Hillery, Ken Walton, Finchale Training College

 The garden looked like it had always been there, I really liked the lean-too greenhouse.

 
I even had a bike just the same as this one! The canvas saddle bag too was classic. Hot Pot for tea! 
“A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” awarded Gold Medal, designed by Daniela Coray, winner of the 2011 RHS National Young Designer of the Year Competition. This meadow garden swayed beautifully in the breeze underneath the crab apple trees, Daniela has a bright future ahead of her.
 
 
OXFAM`s “When the Waters Rise”  was part of their “Grow” Campaign” for better ways to grow, share and live together. The garden was full of meaning and the message very clear. It showed the ways people across the world are adapting to climate change, particularly flooding. Here veg is grown in containers that are portable. The sculpture of woman with child on her back looking after the garden highlights womens role in subsistence farming.
“When the Waters Rise”

 Great details like the carrots growing in the wellies!

“Inside Out”,Designed by John Everiss was a great feat of engineering and design. When I was photographing late one evening a couple of the onsite construction crew were having a real good look at the structure. This for me really worked on a few levels. The roof was amazing with the outdoor living area below,

"Inside Out", Awarded Gold Medal, Designer John Everiss

 The “Outside” nestling up pefectly to the “Inside”, the Hornbeam hedging also dividing areas off.

“Paradise Isle- 100 Years On designed by Sam Youd was a very calm reflective garden also awarded a Gold. Sam is Head Gardener at Tatton and was asked to design a Japanese Garden commemorarting 100 years of a Japanese Garden at the park. Sam has been Head gardener for over 30years and was instrumental in bringing the show to tatton park. He will also be retiring next year and I personally wish him a happy and content retirement.

“Paradise Isle- 100 Years On”, designed by Sam Youd
 
“Painting with Plants“, awarded Silver Gilt Medal, designed by Jan Lomas, Nicola Sweeting, Eaton Garden Team, sponsored by Grosvenor Estate had another of my favourite plants the  Eryngium ‘ Cobalt  Star`

Eryngium ' Cobalt Star`

I also liked this water feature that was blended in nicely to the planting.

Water feature amongst Agastache ‘ Blue fortune”, Eragrostis curvula ( African Love Grass ), Helenium ‘Waldtraut’,

Finally I wandered through the Floral Design Studio and came across this flower display, “Hidden & Revealed” that won Gold & Best Exhibit, by NAFAS. It mesmerised me and really stopped me in my tracks. I found it very peaceful, Zen and calming. I decided to photograph it with a slow enough shutter speed to catch the copper and willow circle spinning enough to still make out the shape amongst the stillness.

NAFAS were awarded Gold & Best Exhibit in the Floral Design Studio

 

I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the show and look forward to returning for next years show in 2012.

Malvern Spring Gardening Show May 2011

Well the show is over and the processing in Lightroom 3 has begun. This years show was blessed with good weather and some fantastic show gardens. A 4.45am start to the day paid dividends with the most beautiful sunrises at 5.45am. Sun rising perfectly casting low warm light onto some of the gardens. Perfect conditions only thing to contend with was the wind. But this actually worked on a couple of the gardens, especially the Chris Beardshaw/Bradstone scholarship gardens, where the theme was “Atom”, marking the UN`s International Year of Chemistry.

Graduate Gardeners took Gold and Best in the Show Gardens, for their garden entitled “A Garden for Life”. The garden was centred around an A frame house with wildflowers at the front and a very practical grow your own veg patch to the side. On a photography technical side Lee Filters .6ND soft grad was used to balance the sky and foreground. White marquees were taken out of the windows by Jaincotech, thanks.

Gold & Best in Show, "A Garden for Life" designed by Stuart Gibbs (Graduate Gardeners Ltd)

It really looked like it had always been there!

The details were also amazing

The veg garden

The other Gold Winner was  “My Very Local Veg Garden” designed by Hannah Genders (Hannah Genders Ltd). This was a garden that touched me as Hannah set herself the challenge of sourcing all materials for the garden within cycling distance of her home in Worcestershire. On my own organic allotment all the raised beds are made from slab, wood that isn`t used in the timber industry. For a book commission “The Medicine Garden” by Rachel Corby I too set myself a mission of photographing as many of the Medicinal Plants from a 5 mile radius of my house. The only ones not possible to do were by the coast.

I love the ethos of making an amazingly productive garden from recycled, reused materials!

Awarded Gold "My Very Local Veg Garden"; garden designed by Hannah Genders (Hannah Genders Ltd)

Super styling; and who wouldn`t want to sit around the centrepiece table and tuck into a  meal made from the produce at picking distance from your chair.

Fantastic veg garden!

The Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship gardens sponsored by Bradstone threw up some delights and some maverick designs!

My personal favourite was “In the Balance” designed by Caroline E Butler. I remember being immersed in the photography when Caroline came up for a chat, I was in the zone. Caroline asked what I was doing and I explained I was a garden photographer and that i was spending alot of time on the garden to get it right and I remember saying “which is a good sign”.

The next day Caroline at the awards ceremony was handed the Chris Beardshaw scholarship!

This first image was where I thought the windy conditions aided me. I liked the concept of the mathematical equations and what they meant to me. On going back the next morning at 5.30 it was windy but with good light. I had thought overnight what the equations were representing and to me fluidity and movement.

Chris Beardshaw scholarship winner; "In the Balance"; garden designed by Caroline E Butler

The Fibonacci numbers integer sequence is a mathematical equation that Carolines planting of Sempervivum in the nucleus displays well.

Great use of Bradstone materials

Another scholarship winner was Paul Cantello`s garden “Breathe” designed around the oxygen atom.  The raised platforms I liked with their thought out metal rod bordering.

Awarded Silver Gilt Flora and Chris Beardshaw Scholarship "Breathe" ; Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2011 garden designed by Paul Cantello (Batello Garden Design)

It also displayed lovely tight planting, no room for weeds.

Another scholarship winner was Rachel Phillips “Budding Scientists”. I loved the structure with the turf roof.

"Budding Scientists" Awarded Silver Gilt Flora & Chris Beardshaw scolarship, garden designed by Rachel Phillips & Designs With Nature

Awarded Gold best Trade stand and best in show was  the garden from Garden Interest designed by Roger Higgins. I had seen this garden earlier in the week and wanted to get there before any light hit it. There at 5.45am with the Malvern winds blowing I needed a 4 second exposure to get the waterfall cascade right and patience needed for a lull in the wind to keep the planting still.

Patience paid off and I must say the sound of the waterfall made me really want this in my own garden.

Trade Stand Gold and Best in Show awarded to Garden Interest Landscape Design and Construction designed by Robin Higgins

Fantastic attention to detail;

I did want to sit in the deckchair sipping a warm cup of tea from a flask listening to the seagulls and waves lapping the breaks and shore below at the “Westhaven School by the Sea” garden designed by  Mark Walker of Walkers Garden Retreats.

The Gold Schools garden went to a garden designed by Pershore college students with Jake Peloni`s design. What a central feature the pebble globe. Plus it lent itself well to being photographed at midday, always a bonus.

Awarded Gold "The Astrology Garden"; garden designed by Jake Poloni and Pershore College

I also really liked the pathways which one of the students told me were made from old school locker doors a wonderful use of recycling. Plus they rusted really well fitting in perfectly.

As this is a garden photography blog then I must show a few of the gardens that leant themselves well to photograph, which is something garden designers at shows miss sometimes. To gain publicity it must be easy to photograph.

I really liked Keni Lee`s “From Laozi to Heisenberg”. After a recent month long photography trip to Shanghai I really got his garden. I thought it was very Zen and Tao. I thought the low lying planting with tall rocks reminded the viewer of the mountains and from the top of them looking onto the landscape below. The pathways zig zag to keep the evil spirits out. There are ying and yang elements in the garden.

"From Laozi to Heisenberg" garden designed by Keni Lee

Circles worked well;

Rhea Lyn Parkes “The Rain Garden” was one of my favourite shots of the show purely for the simplicity of the grasses against the ochre wall at dawn. Something to look at and contemplate.

Another slow exposure shot that worked well was Lindsay Warwicks bubbley “Chemistry… all that matters” garden with the effervescing test tubes.

Finally “Collision” by Christopher Tessier. His simplicity and the spiral rill I really enjoyed and nowadays thanks to Photoshop the distracting cordon around the garden could be removed thanks to my friends at Jaincotech! (This shot would not be here with it in!)

Like to drive away in this car? “The Morgan Garden” designed by Craig Hamilton Smith in association with Morgan Motor Company.

A really big thankyou to all the designers, gardeners, landscapers mavericks for a truly great show. Wishing you all the best. A really big thankyou to Sharon Gilbert from the Three Counties Showground Press Office for running things so magnificently. Finally to the plants the sun and all people passionate about gardens!

Next blog coming soon will be magnificent plants from the Floral pavillion, here`s a taster!

Mecenopsis Sheldonii Lingholm grown by Kayes Garden Nursery