17 July 2013
Picnics and flowers
In mid June we held two weeks of courses at Allt-y-bela. The garden was fragrant and full, the weather kind, and judging from the feedback we've received, all enjoyed themselves. Our meal times were made especially picturesque by the beautiful 'napkin posies' made by Ursula Maynard, Arne's mother. Ursula gathered flowers from the garden, just before each meal, and everyday the flower combinations were different and stunning.
For the first time we took the courses on tour, to Oxfordshire, for the second day of the new three-day course 'The Planted Garden'. We visited Rousham Park in the morning, and after a remarkable tour of the house given by Mrs Cottrell-Dormer, Arne led the group of twelve around the garden. He spent time explaining what he loves so much about Mr (William) Kent's design, and how the lessons can be translated to a garden of any size. We enjoyed our picnic in the Praeneste Terrace on the newly created, faithful copies of the original Kent benches. It was a short drive from there to Appleton Manor, where the entrance courtyard was sparkling with the magical effect of sunshine on ox-eye daisies. The garden Arne has worked with the owners to create was looking stunning, and it was a pleasure to see the work starting on exciting new areas.
We learnt more about putting together plant combinations during the last day, using hundreds of printed plant cards, and looking for colour inspiration from paintings and tapestries. Elke came up from the London office to share some of her rare plant finds and show some special favourites. We added these into the mix and with Arne's guidance, everyone put together plant mood-boards, and by the end of the day, whole borders were starting to emerge.
Later in the year we'll announce the course plans for next year - we're looking forward to them already!