Grow with the flow

You can have green fingers without having to put up with the vagaries of the British climate: the rich gamut of garden design can now be fully appreciated in a new photography exhibition. Private Spaces is the result of an annual competition by the Garden Photographers’ Association, held at the Geffrye Museum for the second time.

The theme was to capture the relationship between people and the outdoor environments they create in towns and cities, and from the many submissions, nearly 100 images were selected, including both professional photographers’ work and that of students and assistants. From the meticulously planned space with neat borders and decking in Balham, south London, to a window showing a wilder, Man versus nature serendipity in Wellington, New Zealand, the images display a diverse idea of what a garden is, whether window box, allotment or wire tunnel.

Each photograph is accompanied by an anecdote explaining the story behind it – what domestic scene is emerging in an east London backyard for instance, or the significance of an individual snowdrop. The overriding principle for the work was that the spaces, such as those under glass, on a rooftop or behind a wall, should provide a personal place of sanctuary.

Private Places: Garden Photography Exhibition runs until 29 August at the Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road, London E2. Tel 020 7739 9893 or visit An accompanying book, published by Third Millennium, is also available.

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