Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Favourite Gardens - Hinton Ampner

'At Hinton, I am inclined to believe that the most attractive area is the sward of plain grass between the church and the house with the tall jade-green stems of beech trees rising beyond it. There is a spaciousness and tranquillity here which my more elaborate efforts elsewhere have not achieved.' - Ralph Dutton.

Although much of the garden is lovely, I agree with Dutton that the best part is the 'ungardened' view between the house and the church where the ancient beeches preside over the smooth sweeps of lawn. Much of the garden is on clay which is easily dried out by the wind, so that topiary and areas such as the Dell, full of mature trees and shrubs, are more successful.

I do agree with Dutton, though, when he writes: 'I have learnt during the past years what above all I want from a garden and that is tranquillity.'

The view from the terrace in June.

The house is wonderful, having relatively few perfectly proportioned principal rooms, all beautifully decorated in Dutton's precise neo-Georgian style.

The Entrance Hall

The South Drawing Room

The Dining Room

Breakfast laid out in Ralph Dutton's bedroom
For more photos, click here

Friday, 4 March 2016

Favourite Paintings - Hilma af Klint

Hilma af Klint - Group IV No 3 The Ten Largest -  Youth 1907
A Swedish artist and Theosophist who I had never heard of until the exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, is probably the first pure abstract artist. The painting above was painted in 1907, before others such as Kandinsky.

For a brief biography, see here

See more of her paintings here