One of the delights I appreciated at the Heroic Gardens Festival was this quiet, simple green space in the back garden owned by photographer, Gil Hanly.
I have written before about the green breathing space As a sorbet between rich dinner courses refreshes the palate, so too do simpler areas in a complex or busy garden allow a little space to draw breath. Generally, I have seen lawns used to achieve this quieter space.
Gil Hanly’s was a complex and mature garden with many points of interest. Her vegetable garden was a tour de force but in addition to that, there was a lot happening all through her garden. And out from the house was this charming green space of deceptive simplicity. A grove of palms underplanted with mondo grass fringed a dark natural-shaped pond in the shade, creating a restful, central heart to the garden. It was simply lovely. I can only apologise for failing to take more notice of which palms were used. I lack any expertise on this plant family and always defer to Mark who was not with me on this trip. With hindsight, we wonder if they are Hedyscepe canterburyana but that is only a guess.
The sauntering ducks are bamboo, collected by the garden owner on a trip to Asia (she may have said Vietnam).
The little temple by the water (top) is, I am told, by artist, Bronwyn Cornish. For me it evoked the very old villa visible in a ravine in Sorrento in Italy (immediately above) which I photographed back in 2008. Anyone who has been to Sorrento (the jumping off point for Capri) will have seen this sight. In the Hanly back garden, the whole effect was understated but hugely effective.
Unrelated, there was also a huge plant of our very own Cordyline Red Fountain growing elsewhere in the garden in an area which was bold with colour.