Annie Hughes once gave me an important RHS Gold Medal winning tip - a botanical artist needs to find a good grower who specialises in a niche interest.
In other words, if you want to produce a great painting you need to have a great plant in good condition - and a grower who is both knowledgeable about the plant and can supply what you need.
I visited the Beth Chatto Gardens - just east of Colchester on Wednesday. She is one such grower.
About the Beth Chatto Gardens
The gardens are located around the bungalow which is the home of Beth Chatto. She started to create the gardens in 1960 when her husband retired and they moved to a new bungalow built on land which had been part of her husband's former fruit farm but not considered suitable for growing as parts were too dry (the area has a low annual rainfall) while other parts were too boggy and water did not drain away.
She started her garden in what was essentially an overgrown wasteland which included both parched gravel and boggy ditches!
Beth Chatto OBE (b.1923) is now a plantswoman renowned for:
A list of reasons why the gardens might interest botanical artists
We welcome all artists to the Beth Chatto Gardens. If however, you will be selling your art, the policy is the same as that of Photography. The Beth Chatto Gardens does not permit painting at its properties for commercial use or for reproduction in any form without consent from the Beth Chatto Gardens. Paintings of the Beth Chatto Gardens may not be submitted to photo libraries, agencies or on-line providers or provided directly to buyers.
We are building an extensive programme for children and adults: from school visits and holiday activities to RHS qualification, artistic and wellbeing courses.
If you are a member of the RHS you can visit for free between November and March.
I'm one such member but I came away having bought my Friends of the Garden Annual Pass - I'll be back to enjoy the Gardens in different seasons.
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Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
© Katherine Tyrrell 2015-17
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