There is something quite unique and excitingly special about the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. As a garden photographer with a much prized press pass, there is the anticipation as you get up at 4am, praying for a wonderful summer dawn to paint the gardens at their best, then the thrill, passing through the gates to get the first sight of the garden you are commissioned to photograph, the scent of the plants and flowers, the stillness of the water in lakes and ponds, or the sweet notes of trickling brooks and gentle fountains.....Overhead there may be London's famous parakeets chattering in the trees, or perhaps a thrush celebrating the dawn. It is utterly magical and the greatest privilege as a garden photographer to be able to work at Chelsea. Please click on any image below for an expanded view.
And its not only the spectacular, stunning show gardens that are such a joy to behold. There are little corners where a jewel coloured bloom peeps out from a wall, shadows fall on a sunny wall, a stone is perfectly placed to enhance a tree.
All around garden designers are making the final, finishing touches to their creations. Paths are brushed, ponds cleaned, sets brushed. And then all is ready, and the people come. Judges, more press, the television crews, interviewers; and later on in the morning the invited celebrities appear, some aloof, some as excited as the rest of us. By lunchtime the work is completed.
There are many other RHS Flower Shows where a garden photographer like me visits and works, though Chelsea will always be the biggest and best. Closer to home and another favourite is the Tatton Park Flower Show, held in the historic surroundings of the Tatton Estate. The images below are from various RHS shows held at Tatton. Please click on any image below for an expanded view.