A Photographer’s Diary, Behind the ScenesBy
This last week was my local RHS flower show, and quite by accident I applied for the press pass for the wrong day. It was for the press day, the day before it is open to the public, and what fun it was.
There had been much concern by the designers and the public as to whether this show would go ahead, due to non-stop rain in the build-up. Agricultural and rock shows have been cancelled across the country, yet the amazing garden designers ploughed on. Helped no end they told me, by the fact the soil under the grass is sandy, and so quick to drain surface water.
Some gardens were continually being flooded under monsoon downpours. One dug down to put in metal pond, only to have it be pushed back out by the rainwater getting underneath.
This was the joy of going on press day, I got to chat with designers, hear about their story, and the best bit; was being able to walk onto the gardens. It really brought them to life, rather than standing behind ropes and looking on wistfully.
I was the only photographer I saw to have kneeling pad with me. Then again, maybe I was the only photographer to do ground shots. Most press were eye level on tripods to get shots of large parts of the garden, rather than close up elements of it like me.
This time having the day to traipse around in willies, wax hat and waterproof coat it was plenty of time; even when the rain came down and I ducked inside the floral marquee.
The judges were to announce the medals that afternoon and wherever I went, garden designers were having mixed emotions. Relief that their gardens had made it to the finish despite the elements, yet anxiety over what medal they would be awarded.
The Tatton show holds so many favourite bits for me, the flowerbed competitions, designed by councils the length and breadth Britain I love. Then there are the children sections, this year the small front garden bed competition was to a children’s programme theme. Though I sensed it was the teachers who were being indulged; hands up how many 5 – 10 year olds are going to remember the Magic Roundabout, Bill and Ben and Campbellwick Green? And then there are the back to back gardens which do seem to decrease in quantity each year.
By the time the first public day came, bringing with it, unexpected though most welcome sunshine, the garden designers knew their fate. Many through gritted teeth tried to accept the judges final decision, when a gold or silver medal hadn’t come their way.
For me, it was a triumph, and a delight. How many jobs are there where you can spend two whole days surrounded by beauty, and art, (as I always see gardening as such), in the beautiful outdoors? Roll on 2013!
Living in the beautiful rural county of Yorkshire it was perhaps natural for Ruth to have an affinity with the countryside and its wildlife. Creativity is Ruth’s driving force finding an outlet in television & radio she worked for many years as producer for BBC & ITV.
However a love of photography and for being surrounded by nature called her to go back to her photography training and bring pleasure and joy to people through her connection with our planet.
Staying in the moment when taking her images allows her to experience the natural magnificence unfolding before her eyes. It is this moment of mediation, of gratitude, that she evocatively conveys through her images.
Company: Ruth Bayley Landscape Photography
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