Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Mottisfont Rose Garden June 2017

The National Trust entrance to Mottisfont

is by some measure the most visited National Trust garden in the country, the main attraction being its fabulous rose garden, created in the old walled kitchen gardens by Graham Stuart Thomas from 1972 onwards. In the main walled area, he brought in many from his own extensive collection of roses while in the north garden he planted only old roses, many which had been thought lost, but which he was able to source from Sangerhausen, a noted rose garden in Germany.

The gardens were until his recent retirement looked after by David Stone, and attracted many rose specialists such as Jon Dodson, who also maintained a beautiful collection of his own old roses.

Graham Stuart Thomas's own watercolours of some of the roses.

When you visit, don't miss the little exhibition in the potting shed near the entrance to the rose garden, which as well as having some beautiful watercolours painted by Graham Stuart Thomas himself, also has a short history of the garden on a video loop, narrated by Audrey Hepburn. 
Click here for more photos of the house and garden

Friday, 23 June 2017

Favourite Writings - Bruno Schulz 'August'

This summer heat reminds me of these lines from a short story by Bruno Schulz called 'August': “The dark second-floor apartment of the house in Market Square was shot through each day by the naked heat of summer: the silence of the shimmering streaks of air, the squares of brightness dreaming their intense dreams on the floor.”

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

RHS Flower Show at Chatsworth

The RHS held its first show at Chatsworth on 7th June 2017 hoping to bring some London garden magic to Derbyshire and the Peak District. Chatsworth itself - and its setting in the Derwent valley - is stunning and well worth the visit, but one couldn't also go round the house and the garden and had to be content with the show which was somewhat disappointing for those expecting Chelsea-style 'show' gardens. There were the huge tents of plants - one in the shape of the Great Conservatory at Kew - and a beautifully decorated Palladian bridge, but the main part of the show was given over to individual 'stalls' selling plants, garden artefacts and food.The 'show' gardens were of no great interest and tended to try to make a point, which is not what I look for in a garden (see here for what I think gardens are for).

The Palladian Bridge

Friday, 2 June 2017

The Garden Gallery Exhibition at The Grange

The Garden Gallery,  Rachel Bebb's celebrated sculpture garden in Broughton, put on a special exhibition at The Grange, Northington, on 2nd June 2017. The old Baring home is in the process of being restored and this provided magnificent brickwork and stunning lighting effects for the artworks, many being paintings used as stage sets.