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Land Girls

8 years, 1 month ago Garden Photography, People, photography 0

During the  autumn of 2010 I started photographing a few people I knew for a personal project, initially inspired by a Land Girls poster from WW2. Like the Gardeners’ Hands project from a couple of years ago, it gathered momentum, slowly at first, but by word of mouth it has grown from the original six portraits taken last year, to a surprising 30 portraits. And I only seem to have scratched the surface!

Not a literal interpretation of the original poster, the connection with everyone is that they grow edible plants or plants for cropping in some form – whether in a few pots on a balcony, in an allotment or in a vast garden and who are actively involved in writing, blogging, broadcasting or campaigning.

I plan to put up some of the images on the blog, maybe on a weekly or fortnightly basis, now I have a wide selection of folk. So a few recent portraits, in no particular order!

Beth Chatto, author and one of the UK's most respected plantswomen.

Beth Chatto, author and one of the UK's most respected plantswomen.

Jekka McVicar, plantswoman, organic expert and author, in her herb nursery

Jekka McVicar, plantswoman, organic expert and author, in her herb nursery

Alice Bowe, garden designer and author, making a start on her new veg plot.

Alice Bowe, garden designer and author, making a start on her new veg plot.

Helen Babbs, author, on her balcony in Central London

Helen Babbs, author, on her balcony in Central London

Beth Chatto

9 years, 5 months ago Garden Photography, Gardens, news 0
Beth Chatto

Beth Chatto in her gravel garden

This week I had the pleasure of photographing one of Britain’s best known and most respected gardeners, Beth Chatto. At the age 87, most people would be taking it easy, but not Mrs Chatto. She spent two hours being interviewed and photographed, before carrying out what is apparently normal routine in her garden – putting in new plants and doing general maintenance!

I photographed her once before, for my ‘Gardeners’ Hands’ project. On that occasion, I was in a queue behind a Japanese film crew, who were working with her before my appointment. Keeping busy must be her secret!

The Beth Chatto Gardens are situated in Elmstead Market, Colchester and are open to visitors. Started in 1960, on what the official website describes as an overgrown wasteland, they are now known to gardeners all over the world, particularly for the ‘gravel garden‘. It was here that Mrs Chatto innovated by matching plants to the specific growing conditions of the area, using drought tolerant plants in a part of the UK which has similar rainfall to some desert regions. For more details, see www.bethchatto.co.uk or her book, The Gravel Garden.

The full set of photographs can be seen in the July issue of Beautiful Britain Magazine.

I was very pleased to see that the copy of the photograph ‘43 Gardeners’ Hands‘ I sent to Mrs Chatto is now on display in the gardens’ restaurant.
43 Gardeners' Hands

43 Gardeners' Hands

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