Shoots & leaves

The Weekend Australian - Magazine - - LIFE -

The no­madic life of gar­den pho­tog­ra­pher Claire Takacs

You might not know Claire Takacs’ name, but if you read gar­den books or mag­a­zines you’ll have seen her work. She’s a top Aus­tralian gar­den pho­tog­ra­pher who works around the world, fol­low­ing the sea­sons to cap­ture beau­ti­ful gar­dens at their most com­pelling.

In the 14 years since she took up the pro­fes­sion, Takacs has shot more than 1000 gar­dens. Now she has dis­tilled the best into a book, Dream­scapes (Hardie Grant, $70), which in­cludes more than 50 gar­dens from across the globe – some the work of fa­mous de­sign­ers, oth­ers lov­ingly cre­ated by their own­ers.

“I could have filled three books, there are so many images to choose from,” laughs Takacs, 40. “We chose them for beauty and cre­ativ­ity, and hope­fully they pro­vide an in­spir­ing glimpse into the re­mark­able di­ver­sity of gar­dens around the world. I am still con­tin­u­ally sur­prised when I visit gar­dens.”

Clos­est to her heart is Cloude­hill, the ac­claimed gar­den of Jeremy Fran­cis in the Dan­de­nongs out­side Mel­bourne, near where she grew up. It’s the first gar­den she pho­tographed and one she re­turns to reg­u­larly. Other favourites in­clude Great Dix­ter and Gravetye Manor in Eng­land, but

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