The Plant Society Journal 06 Part I

A life with plants: Talking 'Wild' with Claire Takacs

We recently caught up with award-winning photographer Claire Takacs, thrilled for the opportunity to chat gardens, photography, and the release of her new book ‘Wild’.

The Plant Society Journalの第6回目となるPlant Peopleへのインタビュー。私たちは、数多くの受賞歴があり、ランドスケープフォトグラファーとして活躍するクレア・タカス(Claire Tacaks)に、ガーデンや写真のこと、そして、刊行されたばかりのフォトブック「Wild」について話を聞きました。

Photography: Claire Takacs @clairetakacs
Words: Claire Takacs with Priscilla Moscatt / Translation Words: Rei Yamakura @idreit_com

Known for her dreamy garden-scapes, Claire Takacs' work is imbued with a sense of calm serenity, surging with the wild rhythms of nature. ‘Wild’ allows us to embark on a journey of green escapism. It is the perfect exploration of the naturalistic garden, a hot-trend in the world of gardening which focuses on nature-based planting with an eco-aware approach.

Being the antithesis of formality naturalism takes a giant leap away from the manicured garden space - imagine sprawling meadows of perennials and grasses. Naturalistic gardens are multi-purpose spaces nurturing biodiversity and visually feeding the soul. We asked Claire what it is about this wild style of garden that speaks to her the most.




Jo Wakelin Garden, near Cromwell, Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand. Designer: Jo Wakelin. Photography by Claire Takacs

‘Landscape is what first inspired me to photograph and time in nature is really what I seek most. The more raw, pristine, and beautiful, the better! So, with gardens being wilder and closer to nature now, it’s bringing me back to my first love. Also, it’s the feeling these wilder gardens have, which is completely different to a formal and tightly controlled space.’

Her deep connection to nature speaks through the beauty of her work. Growing up in Victoria, amongst the forests of the Dandenong Ranges and the open spaces of the Mornington Peninsula, we get an idea of her earliest inspirations. ‘Being surrounded by forest, a large garden, and the ocean informed an early love of nature and the outdoors and perhaps a sense of wildness. This always felt more comfortable to me that the city or suburbia.’



Wildside, near Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England. Designer: Keith Wiley.
Photography by Claire Takacs

Claire’s work offers a unique perspective and focuses in on details that reflect the personality of a garden. ‘I aim to be completely present when I photograph. I give the garden and that moment, my full attention. This is probably the most important part of the creative journey and why I prefer to photograph alone, with no distractions.’


Stone Hill, Woodend, Victoria, Australia. Designer: Michael McCoy. Photography by Claire Takacs

'I think nature and photography has really been my canvas for my constant pursuit of beauty.’ Leafing through the pages of Wild is like going on a grand gardening tour; your heart can’t help but skip a beat.


Left: James Hitchmough Garden, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. Designer: James Hitchmough. Photography by Claire Takacs

Schau- und Sichtungsgarten Hermannshof, Weinheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Designers: Urs Walser and Cassian Photography by Claire Takacs

Spending her time between the northern and southern hemispheres, Claire leads a life that many would find alluring. Her journey has taken her to some of the world’s most fascinating gardens. In them, she can turn a still moment into a moving narrative – a testimony to her love of light and beauty.

“My life has been mostly nomadic between the two hemispheres for over the past twenty years as I’ve followed the seasons. I’ve based my life around my work, but both have become beautifully intertwined with both people and places.” When we asked what she loves most about what she does her answer is clear. ‘It’s given me a free way of life I had long dreamed of, working on something I am truly passionate about. It’s about beauty, light, nature and connecting with people.’


そして、彼女の写真は、静止した瞬間を、感動的なストーリーへと変換してくれるのです − それは、彼女が光と美を愛していることの証でもあります。また、彼女はこうも語ります。「私はこれまで、20年以上にわたり、季節を追って北半球と南半球を行き来する暮らしをしてきました。私の生活は、たいてい仕事とともにあるのですが、それらは、常に素晴らしい人々と場所に結びついているのです」。


Oakwood at RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey, England. Designer: George Fergusson Wilson, managed by curator Matthew Pottage. Photography by Claire Takacs

Was there a garden captured in ‘Wild’ that you have had an instant visceral connection to and if so, why?

“Yes, Jo Wakelin’s Garden. I love the raw, wildness of it and the dramatic landscape, of which her garden seamlessly becomes a part of. I love that is a new and better way of doing things, being a dry garden, conceived in the driest part of NZ. I find it exciting and beautiful from every angle.

Featuring the work of leading garden designers including Sean Hogan, Piet Oudolf, and Dan Pearson, ‘Wild’ embraces the philosophy of the ever-changing naturalistic garden, where nature is enabled to dictate, allowing it to flourish. The book holds all the inspiration for gardening adventures, with a list of 40 world-wide gardens, a check list for gardens yet to be visited. It delights the senses and makes you want to dust off your suitcase and book an adventure.

「Wild」で撮影した庭の中で、特に印象深いものを聞くと、「Jo Wakelinさんのガーデンは素晴らしかったですね。ワイルドな力強さがあり、彼女の庭はドラマチックな風景の一部となっていました。また、ニュージーランドの最も乾燥した地域で考案された“ドライガーデン”という、新しく、より良い手法で計画されていることも気に入っています。どの角度から見てもエキサイティングで本当に美しかった」とのこと。

Sean Hogan、Piet Oudolf、Dan Pearsonといった、第一線で活躍するガーデンデザイナーの仕事が掲載されたブック「Wild」は、進化し続けるナチュラリスティックガーデンの哲学を伝え、自然な環境の中で植物たちが開花し、生育していく様を見せてくれます。この本の中には、世界の40もの庭のリストや、これから訪れたい庭の情報など、ガーデニングの冒険のためのあらゆるインスピレーションが詰まってい



Le Jardin Sec, Mèze, France. Designer: Olivier Filippi. Photography by Claire Takacs