What happens when two opinionated garden makers visit the garden of a Chelsea award-winning garden designer?
Last month, Anne Wareham, Charles Hawes and I visited Allt-y-bela, the home of Arne Maynard, an author and prominent UK garden designer. We spent several hours wandering around the impressive garden, located in Monmouthshire, Wales; Anne and I spent even more time several weeks later exchanging ideas and responses to what we had seen.
Along with running her own garden, Veddw, (in case you missed my review of Veddw, you can read it here), Anne edits the internationally read on-line garden magazine ThinkinGardens. This week she has published our correspondence about Allt-y-bela.
As Anne mentions in her introduction to the piece, our responses to the garden raised a number of interesting questions. What is the affect of visiting a garden along with the person who has made it? Does it add to or subtract from the experience? What about history? Is it important to bring that into the design of the garden? And what are the pros and cons of stage managed gardens?
I'm home again at Glen Villa, my garden in Quebec, after touring gardens in England. In ten days, the small group I was hosting visited 17 gardens, each special in its own way. Add in the Chelsea Flower Show and pre-tour visits to three other gardens and you can imagine the result: more photos and memories than a dozen blog posts can handle. Let me mention a few highlights. (More blog posts will come once I catch my breath and begin to assimilate all I saw.) The Chelsea Flower Show
I'm in England now, about to start on a ten-day garden tour. With my co-host Julia Guest of Travel Concepts in Vancouver, I will take a small group of women to the southwest of England. But before hitting the road, let me whet your appetite with a review of an extraordinary garden I visited pre-tour. Veddw is the garden of Anne Wareham and Charles Hawes. Located in Wales, just across the border from England in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Veddw pays homage to its surroundings in ways that show respect
This summer I've been watching what used to be a manicured lawn turn into a meadow. Seeing the changes month to month has shown that what pleased me in June ... [caption id="attachment_4073" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] The view from the driveway gives some idea of the size of the Big Meadow.[/caption] became even better in July. [caption id="attachment_4203" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Grasses on the prairie used to be called oceans of grass. Now I know why.[/caption] I was thrilled. Was the transformation from lawn to meadow going to be as
I'm a big fan of ThinkinGardens, the British website edited by Anne Wareham. While the bulk of the posts relate to gardening and gardens in England, posts also cover topics of wider interest. As the website itself says, it's a website "for people who want more than gardening from gardens." ThinkinGardens isn't modest or retiring, and neither is its editor. Both aim at controversy, or at least at generating discussion about gardens, garden design, garden practices and philosophies. The website is a compendium of writing that challenges assumptions and makes readers
Who could walk past this scene without pausing to admire the clouds reflected in the water below? [caption id="attachment_1366" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Blue sky, puffy white clouds and autumn colour are reflected in the Skating Pond at Glen Villa.[/caption] Reflections show the world around us. They can reveal aspects of a scene we might otherwise miss. They are -- or can be -- great additions to any garden. But using them well requires thought and planning. Water is one of the easiest reflecting surfaces to include in a garden. But before