Now, for those of you who have read my other posts will know that my love of gardening came from knowing and spending some time at Hemingford Grey Manor….Green Knowe to some of you. A place where my Grandad was a gardener there for many years and my Nan cleaned the house.
As a child, I would go with them on occasions to the manor, entering into this magical garden and manor house where I would sometimes see Mrs Lucy Boston.
Now, did my love of gardening come from the fact that this was/is such a special place? A house and garden that had been there since the 1100’s? Or Mrs Boston herself, who wrote several books about the house and garden? I think it was all of the above. Although, it was the garden itself that drew most of my attention. Mrs Boston bought the house in the 1930’s and both house and garden was in need of renovation. It was Mrs Boston’s ideas and work with a lot of help from others, that has shaped the garden to how we know it to this day. The garden that has shaped my working life.
As with most historical gardens, Mrs Boston was only one of many to add her ideas to the garden that has been there for hundreds of years. The garden evolves over the years with some of the larger trees surviving disease, floods, fire and the Gardeners axe, with new plantings being added by the ever changing owners/Gardeners. The main shape and size may stay the same over the years but with the new guardians coming in and adding there own ideas. Even if it is just adding new borders, or removing borders, changing the shape of the lawn or planting new trees and shrubs. Some may only survive for a few years, where others will be around for many years to come, shaping what others may do in the years to come.
As the title says ‘One canvas…. many artists’, some see the garden as an art form, others do not. Whatever your view is, it is still an area that uses: colour, texture, scent, sound and often emotion/feeling into all areas of the garden.
Now when I started working at Trinity College in 2000 as a Under gardener, I never thought I would make it to the position of Head Gardener. Very few get to have this wonderful opportunity not just to work in these wonderful gardens but to be involved with the future planning of the college gardens. To be able to add some of my ideas to the many that have been added before mine. Hopefully to be enjoyed by many in the future and to be part of the evolution of the garden.
Many a private/public garden goes through all these changes, different Gardeners and or owners change over the years, along with some the plantings and layout but the main canvass stays the same.
So before I went to Ireland earlier this year and after a lot of thought, I decided it was time for me to move on and tackle a fresh new challenge. Not an easy decision to leave such a wonderful place like Trinity but I felt the time is now right for me to move on. I will be staying in the world of horticulture but I feel the need to cause more havoc elsewhere…..you’ve been warned! So, I will leave Trinity this autumn with a lot of happy memories and with the hope I have helped maintain the gardens and made improvements for future Head Gardeners to be able to move forward with.
Oh by the way, I will be blogging about my new adventure in the near future.