conversations with gardeners

Gardeners have been responding to my call out for people to make contact with me, in response to ‘Do you still have plants from Hadspen Garden in your own garden?

My work for this commission will include a print work – I want to find some way of ‘mapping’ this dispersal of plants, and how Hadspen still grows in other peoples’ minds and gardens.

I’ve been thinking how specific I need to be in taking forward the research: do they have to be plants directly from the Hadspen nursery from the Popes time at the garden?  Do they need to have visited Hadspen themselves? What about plants I’ve split and passed on to friends? How much do I want to push it?  Wait and see what comes back?

Soon after the circulation of my ‘call out’, there are phone calls and emails, a flurry of responses and conversations.

I met two people at the launch of the Abundance Garden Trail back in March who I completely enjoyed talking with – I seemed to psychically sense they were 1) gardeners, 2) into Hadspen.  Abundant conversation.

I liked it when Bridgett Combe said: ‘I battle the bindweed.’

And ‘I never throw anything away, nothing is wasted.

Connected me to artist John Newling‘s extraordinary work which Zoe had recommended I go and see, and my resonant conversation with him around his show at Nottingham Contemporary, during which he talked about a ‘material sentence’ – materials transforming, how one thing becomes another, travels on through form and shape, and ‘the growing of time’.

The print work will be language only, no photographs, so here are some of the photos that people generously sent me:

Carole Wyatt's Hellebore

Carole Wyatt’s Hellebore from Hadspen Garden

Emma Craigie Oldest Somerset Rose

Emma Craigie sent me pictures of the roses she has, this one being the ‘oldest Somerset rose’ according to Sandra Pope.

Emma Craigie rose

Emma wrote to me: ‘We totally adored the gardens and visited them very frequently when our children were little.  Only a couple of weeks ago we were remembering the tea rooms there and my 18 year old son welled up!’

Gill Palmer Anemone

And from my Mum, Gill Palmer, a photo of a treasured Anemone.


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