Eclectic Aesthetics

Some seventy or so keen gardening souls were welcomed by Lady Rose in the Central Hall for the start of our brilliant Eclectic Garden Seminar last weekend. Speakers Richard Wheeler, Ken Cox and Diarmuid Gavin kept us enthralled on both days with the history of visiting 18th century houses and gardens, trekking in the Himalayas in search of new plants and planning award winning gardens for Chelsea. Subjects included were certainly diverse and included the difficulties of travelling by post chaise, being arrested as a spy, and finding tasteful alternatives to regimented lobelias. We were urged by Richard to look at our surroundings through, ‘the medium of beauty’. Ken invited us to visit the wonderful gardens of Scotland, and Diarmuid inspired us to consider doing something different and unexpected, especially if we ever considered competing at Chelsea! In between we undertook our own treks round the house with Louise, the garden with Neil, and up to the nursery with Alan, all in lovely weather, no rain until it was time for the group photo!

Central Hall

Beautiful flower arrangements adorned the Central Hall.

Diarmuid Gavin

Diarmuid sets up his slide show.


Neil explains his plans for the future of the garden.


Alan expounds on the different methods of looking after his tender little seedlings, potting on during the winter, and the new greenhouse under construction.

Neolitsia aff.polycarpa

One of the lovely plants in Alan’s polytunnel, Abutilon pictum.

All in all, a very enjoyable and worthwhile weekend and we look forward to next year. Thanks also to the Tea Room staff who looked after us so well, providing tea, coffee and delicious shortbread, as well as a very tasty Sunday Lunch.



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