Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sunday afternoon in The Park

This isn't a park but The Park and it's garden visiting not a park! Confused? The Park is a private  estate in Nottingham with some similarity to the gated communities which are so common in California and probably other parts of the USA. The Park was originally the hunting ground linked to the nearby Nottingham Castle. After many years of disuse, residential development started around 1827 and the estate features many grand Victorian houses built by the eminent local architects Thomas Hine and Watson Fothergill. The estate is now owned by a private company and managed by the residents. It has been designated a Conservation Area with over 100 listed buildings and hundreds of mature trees. It also remains one of very few, if not the only community still to have active gas street lamps.

This was the 21st Park Garden trail with  21 open gardens, plus various activities in the open spaces, music and art from Nottingham Trent University. I had a brief involvement with The Park a few years back and designed some planting schemes for some of the public areas. Some of the work has been completed but is still ongoing.

One of my planting schemes
Imposing entrance - can I come in?

Many of the properties are protected by high brick walls so it was great to be invited in to explore. Compared to the Palm Springs Garden tour, there was a lovely welcoming atmosphere and freedom to explore the gardens at our leisure between 13.00 and 18.00. There seemed to be refreshments everywhere! Like so many gardens in the UK this year, plant development is slow and late and there were some disappointments. Despite some very neat and tidy gardens, I didn't discover any that suggested a real plant lover was at work. Anyway - a few pictures from the various gardens.

A potting shed to die for!

I was looking forward to seeing the art from the local students but quite frankly appalled at much of what was on display. In general it was pointless and puerile. Having just been immersed for two days in the Patchings Art festival and seen the high standards there from both amateur and professional, I cannot perceive what is being taught at the Nottingham Trent University. I overheard one student say that he thought they had really developed through this project. If this is after improvement, I despair!

In all however, its a great event which is likely to raise in excess of £10,000 for charity. Well done to all the garden owners and organisers. just don't invite the 'artists' next year!

1 comment:

  1. That potting shed is so immaculate it looks like its for display purposes only. Not sure about those works of art either, with first one looking like the artist had some fun with 'no more nails'.

    But some gorgeous looking properties there!