The Algarve has recently featured in the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Awards associated with the Chelsea Flower Show seasonal events.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and Saatchi Gallery in London have partnered to present the return of the RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show in 2021.
The show features more than 200 of the best botanical artworks and garden photography by 34 global artists in celebration of these technical art forms.
Algarve illustrator and artist Toni Dade exhibited her series of six paintings of the pomegranate (Punica granatum) through the seasons to display the life cycle of this plant and was awarded a Gold Medal at the exhibition reception on September 18 at this, her first appearance. She has paid a lot of attention to the leaves as well as the flowers – which is one of the characteristics of Gold Medal Winners.
Toni completed a Natural History Illustration course in the 90s and continued to paint, both exhibiting and selling illustrations. She lives and works in the beautiful rural Algarve. Her time is shared between painting, teaching art, Pilates, and homing stray pets. Whilst out walking, she is inspired by the beauty and decay of seasonal nature around her home area.
In recent years, Toni has focused mostly on detailed Botanical studies in watercolour, a sensitive medium that is ideal for delicate, descriptive studies. These paintings can take many hours of work, slowly building depth of colour and intricate detail. Her amazing skill comes from careful observation and painstaking choice of colour. She has exhibited with The Society of Botanical Artists and was awarded a Fellow membership with them in 2019. She is also a member of the Algarve Society of Artists and is available for plant and pet portrait commissions.
2021’s show was held following the cancellation of the event planned for 2020 and many artists have had to wait since then for their work to be seen and judged. The show includes an array of intricate and scientifically accurate botanical illustrations by 15 artists and portfolio collections from 19 photographers that all competed for an RHS Medal – Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver or Bronze.
In 2020, Rosie Peddle was awarded the second highest award available to the RHS – the Veitch Memorial Medal. The VMM is awarded only by recommendation of fellow horticulturists and is given to recognise persons of any nationality who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement and improvement of the science and practice of horticulture.
Rosie is Secretary of the Mediterranean Gardening Association Portugal (MGAP) but, before her move to Portugal in 2004, she was national Vice-Chair of the Plant Heritage charity. Plant Heritage is responsible for the National Plant Collections scheme of the UK and supports ‘conservation through cultivation’ of threatened garden plants.
MGAP provides a monthly gardening page to the Resident and organises the Garden Fairs held in the Algarve.
She is also currently the Curator of the Barrocal Botanic Garden near to Silves and strongly advocates a more environmental approach to gardens and landscape management in the sensitive Mediterranean climate of the Algarve.
The RHS Awards Ceremony for both 2020 and 2021 was held in London in September and Rosie’s eldest son Rupert Peddle attended on her behalf to collect the Veitch Memorial Medal.