Wild gardens on canvas at Côrte Real Gallery

Dylan Lloyd is not a gardener. Nor does he like the appearance of neat lawns and rows of regimented flowers. He specialises in painting gardens that have grown up in untamed places. His atmospheric images are displayed at a gallery in the Algarve countryside – ‘Côrte-Real’ – on the outskirts of Paderne.

Wild gardens in the Algarve are particularly attractive during the month of April when the most delicate of flowers emerge. To observe a huge variety of plant species, head inland to a region where a wide band of sandstone runs parallel to the coast.

Lying between the slate highlands and the limestone hills, it is along this fertile zone that most of the interior towns and villages exist. To name a few, Silves, São Brás de Alportel and Sta Catarina de Fonte de Bispo, all benefit from the rich Triassic red soil.

As far as gardens are concerned, those that have not been manicured and planted support some of the Algarve’s loveliest wild flowers. Many bulbous plants thrive under these conditions, including the pale blue blooms of the huge flowered Scilla peruviana.

Recreating themselves year after year and flowering around Easter time, there are hoop-petticoat Narcissus, field gladiolus, Spanish and Barbary nut iris, grape hyacinths, brown bluebells and rose garlic.

To capture the appearance of a wild garden, Dylan Lloyd’s technique is often firstly to take photographs. He recreates and enhances the appearance by painting a slightly pixilated surface and an exaggerated depth of field.

Regarded as one of the UK’s most accomplished ‘garden artists’, his home base is in the grounds of Canford Independent School where he is a Housemaster and art teacher. Located on the banks of the River Stour in 300 acres of parkland, he frequently takes the opportunity of painting his immediate surroundings. He comments that “this work is a documentation of growth, change and development of the direct world”.

His paintings are on permanent display at Galeria Côrte-Real alongside sculptures, ceramics and other objets d’art. The gallery’s garden is a profusion of spring flowers at this time of year and the outdoor terrace is a pleasant place to relax and enjoy the country air.

Visit Côrte- Real’s pop-up gallery located above the estate agents ‘Fine and Country’ in Carvoeiro (Rua do Barranco).

The main gallery is signposted from Boliqueime, Ferreiras and Paderne. Open Thursday to Sunday, from 11am until 5pm.

912 737 762 | www.corterealarte.com

By Carolyn Kain