If you’re like me, you can never see a gourd without a snatch of verse flickering in and out of focus in the recesses of your mind – this one:
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease
Keats, from To Autumn
Now even the bees have been forced to admit that Autumn is a memory, and nights are longer, a great way to give a gourd new life is to turn it into a winter nightlight.
The ones pictured here are part of Thompson Farms of Raleigh, Mississippi’s collection of crafted gourd novelties that include tree decorations, mandalas, baskets and thunder gourds as well as luminaries. Continue reading
A’net by Brenda Jet was one of the installations we were able to get up close and personal with during our stay at Broomhill Art Hotel and Sculpture Garden in Muddiford, North Devon. The garden is a naturalistic one that runs alongside a stream, through a meadow and in the woodland of a steep-sided valley.
Brenda Jet collects plastic waste, such as tangled fisherman’s twine which she patiently cleans, unravels, then winds into neat balls of raw material. The finished sculpture is felt-like, colourful and textural. Continue reading
…would it? Either way, I’m wishing my American friends a very happy Thanksgiving. If you’re traveling, keep safe. If it’s just an everyday day for you, I hope these flowers will bring a little cheer. Continue reading
Henry Nold, the owner occupant of Haus Martinus in Mathildenhoehe, created the Vortex Garden (garten in German) in its grounds as a sanctuary. Born poor, he allows access to his garden free of charge to members of the public in the hope that they will find peace and inspiration there.
Haus Martinus is a listed, Art Nouveau-style villa, built in 1921 by Jan Hubert Pinand. Garden visitors don’t have access to the villa, but a deluxe suite of rooms can be rented, and concerts are sometimes held there. It must be a memorable place to stay.
Auriculas have an old-fashioned quality: something about the green flowered and mealy grey flowered ones on display at this year’s N.A.P.S. show mades them seem as if any decent Renaissance poet ought to have written a verse or two in their honour. Continue reading
One of the nicest things about blogging is the ability to share a peek into a magical place. I’d not be surprised to hear that even some of the people who have visited Cothay Manor have left without experiencing the courtyard garden. I happened upon it as if by mistake on my second or third circuit of the garden. It seemed such an intimate space that I asked the lady quietly gardening there whether visitors were welcome.
She assured me I was welcome and we talked a little about roses. The walls of the manor are clothed with roses and other vines, including Rosa mutabilis trained as a magnificent climber which I had not seen done before. We’d missed seeing most of the roses in full flower, but there was plenty more to admire. Continue reading
Hestercombe’s celebrated Arts and Crafts style garden is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of garden design who finds themselves with time to spare in Somerset.
The estate dates back at least to the 11th c. and has been furnished with a 16th c. manor house, and an 18th c. pleasure garden of woods, follies, pools and cascades running through hills and valleys, but the Edwardian garden is its crowning glory.
Of course, the true test of an English garden is whether its constituent parts have atmospheric names. Daisy Steps, Chinese Seat, Great Plat, Valley of Cascades, Gothic Alcove, Temple Arbour, Witch House, Mausoleum and Grey Walk all attest to Hestercombe Garden’s greatness. Continue reading