National Garden Scheme midsummer party

As it’s a quieter season at the moment, I’m enjoying looking back on some of the work I’ve been doing in the last few months. One of the events that I was invited to photograph was the National Garden Scheme‘s main fundraising evening of the year – ‘Music in the Garden’ – a midsummer’s garden party and charity auction near Newbury, Berkshire. The venue was generously shared by the owners of the private gardens at Hazelby House, and over 700 people purchased tickets to attend.

The evening was opened by the charity’s president, Mary Berry, with music from the East Woodhay Silver Band as well as soul singer Natasha Watts. Visitors were free to explore the gardens at their leisure – these extensive 12-acre grounds, created in the 1970s by Martin Lane-Fox, are now managed by just two gardeners, and were such an immaculate representation of an English country garden at the height of summer! The 15 garden rooms, divided by clipped yew, beech, hornbeam and box, each have a different feel to them – I particularly enjoyed the newer addition of a sculpture garden, with 4 David Harber creations designed to represent the elements of earth, air, fire and water. There was also an exciting charity auction hosted by Nick Bonham, with 34 lots (plus online bidders) bringing the total raised for the evening to very nearly £90,000.

It really was the most perfect weather, as the sun set on the longest day over the boating lake, bringing its last and best golden light to round off the evening. It was such a pleasure to record the event and to explore such a remarkable garden – do have a look and enjoy some of the selection of pictures below.

view of the formal garden at Hazelby House, Newbury, Berkshire garden photographyNational Garden Scheme sign to an open garden with fundraising eventformal Italianate garden rooms at Hazelby House in Berkshireview of a kitchen garden and greenhouse in a private Berkshire gardenfour David Harber sculptures grace a garden room representing the elements of earth, fire, air and waterdetails of David Harber sculptures in the gardens of Hazelby House, Berkshire Hampshire bordersGeorge Plumptre, chief executive of the National Garden Scheme, relaxing in gardens for a charity eventJapanese inspired bridge in a woodland gardenHampshire garden photography view of a sculpture garden in private groundsdetail of a sculpture by David Harber amongst planting in a private garden, Berkshire Hampshire bordersan open gate leading to a grassy pathway in one of the NGS open gardensdetails of a formal garden open under the National Garden Scheme in Berkshireplant and clipped hedging details at the height of summer in a formal gardenmidsummer planting schemes at an NGS open gardena calm oasis at the entrance to the greenhouse at Hazelby House Berkshiremidsummer light on euphorbia garden photography surreyBerkshire view from Hazelby House out to the formal garden terraces on a midsummer eveningmixed borders on a midsummer evening Berkshire garden photography NGSbidding paddles and items including Mary Berry's jacket ready for National Garden Scheme charity auctionNational Garden Scheme open garden with plant saledetail of a wildflower meadow Julie Skelton garden photographer Surreydetails of different garden rooms on a midsummer evening with rose archformal view towards greenhouse with clipped hedging and stone pillarsdetails of seedheads against sculpture and open gate at a National Garden Scheme charity eveningNational Garden Scheme NGS volunteers manning an information stalldetail of planting against David Harber sculpture at Hazelby House BerkshireNGS charity evening with catering and canapés served to guestsdetail from the rose garden at Hazelby Housedetails from formal English gardens in midsummer garden photographygarden details by Surrey photographerdetails of mixed plantinginside a formal greenhouseguests mingling for Music in the Garden charity event by NGSmixed planting with astrantia midsummer border garden photographera plant sale at one of the National Garden Scheme open gardensfriends relax and chat in a National Garden Scheme open gardensoul singer Natasha Watts performs at NGS Music in the Garden charity eveningGeorge Plumptre of NGS, Martin McMillan OBE, president of NGS Mary Berry, Patrick Hungerford of Hazelby House, and Ed Sugden of SavilsGeorge Plumptre, chief executive of the National Garden Scheme, with president Mary Berry at Hazelby House gardensGeorge Plumptre and Mary Berry welcome guests to the National Garden Scheme charity fundraising eveningMary Berry with the floral jacket - worn on the Great British Bake Off - that was auctioned for the National Garden Scheme the East Woodhay Silver Band perform for Music in the Garden charity eveningtwo guests relax and enjoy the gardens at Hazelby Houseguests explore the open gardens National Garden Scheme BerkshireNick Bonham directs the charity auction for National Garden Schemeguests bid for lots at a National Garden Scheme charity auctionguests at a charity auction with National Garden Schemeevening light on the longest day at private gardens in Berkshireguests at a NGS charity auction led by Nick Bonhamguests able to bid via iPad for lots at a charity auction organised by the National Garden Schemethe East Woodhay Silver Band at Music in the Garden NGS charity fundraiserguests relax and enjoy the gardens at National Garden Scheme midsummer partytwo sisters chat and enjoy the National Garden Scheme open gardens at Hazelby Housethe sun sets on the longest day over a wildflower garden in Berkshireview from a greenhouse out to formal pathways and clipped hedging National Garden Scheme auction paddles and raffle boardNational garden Scheme plant sale at an open gardensunset on the longest day at Hazelby House garden photographer Hampshirelast light on midsummer evening over the boating lake at Hazelby House on the Berkshire Hampshire border

I am a Surrey-based professional garden photographer and member of the Garden Media Guild, available for commissions and collaborations throughout the UK.

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