Photography exhibition blooms for gardener Shelley

July 28 2016

When you walk past a well-kept garden you admire in the leafy suburbs of Redland or Bishopston, the chances are that it may well be one maintained by gardener and photographer, Shelley Everett.

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When you walk past a well-kept garden you admire in the leafy suburbs of Redland or Bishopston, the chances are that it may well be one maintained by gardener and photographer, Shelley Everett.

Shelley’s work outdoors allows her to combine her two great loves - gardening and plant photography. She specialises in macro photography, taking close up shots and plant portraits, and has an exhibition of her work on display this August at the Better Food Company cafe in St Werburghs.

Shelley said: ”I exhibited there last year and I was flattered that they asked me back as they had a lot of really nice comments on the work. I know that when people look at the pictures it links to how they feel and connect with the environment.”

The exhibition features photographs from Bristol, some of plants at the Botanic Garden in Stoke Bishop, and others from one of the highest botanic gardens in the world, at Vail in Colorado. 

“I love the creativity of the shape, texture and the colouring of plants. You can discover amazing things when you use a camera to look at nature, often just because it’s magnified. Part of the joy is discovering what is all around us, just waiting to be seen in different ways and I want to be able to translate that into a format where other people can experience and relate to it too,” she said.

Shelley started up her own gardening and photography business in 2014, after a decade helping unemployed young people start up their own businesses at the Prince's Trust. She now has a full list of satisfied gardening clients and a blossoming photography business selling calendars, prints and greeting cards, which takes up the slack when there is little gardening work in winter.

Shelley has been able to draw on her previous experience at the Prince’s Trust, where there was an emphasis on having a mentor to help build a business. She has been fortunate to have one of the UK’s top plant photographers, Clive Nichols, as her mentor, learning from his extensive experience.

She added: “Some of my best photographs are of plants that are past their best. Being a gardener you are often intimate with people’s old age and infirmities and I think with nature it’s great to be able to see that there is beauty in a plant’s demise. 

“For me, it’s all about connecting with nature: I have to garden and I can’t not garden. It’s my form of mindfulness and hugely therapeutic.”

To find out more visit www.shelleyeverett.co.uk .