This public garden is one of Ireland's most small yet impactful and it was created by the acclaimed Irish horticulturist Jimi Blake. Composed of a terraced garden, long borders, and a valley consisting of a naturally fed mountain stream, this place is thriving with life. Jimi Blake is known for his colorful plant combinations and I was inspired by his use of warm color contrasts. Vibrant pink Astilbe next to bright orange Hemerocallis with Thalictrum flowing over the top had me so interested in the garden space. We had the chance to meet and talk with him about his planting style and how much he enjoys testing the limits of color schemes.
The gardens here are completely inspired by Lady Edith of Londonderry, a progressive suffragette from an aristocratic family who was commander in chief of the Women's Volunteer Reserve in 1914 after the start of WW1. Her informal style mixed with botanical interest birthed the gardens that still thrive today. On this day I had an introduction to the nursery and the formal gardens with Alan the propagator at Mount Stewart. He explained that the spirit of this place was wild collected plants. As we toured the nursery area I saw so many plants from various regions being grown together, all from seed. A main goal for this garden is to continue building gardeners knowledge of exotic plant collections, in order for the plants to be successful. Alan explained that Mount Stewart is unique, in that it has a microclimate in this northern part of Ireland. This allows for salt/moisture to take up air space and positively affect the climate around the property, making it possible to grow as many different species as they do now. The gulf stream, pushed up from the Caribbean, is the creator of this warmer microclimate. Alan explained the perspective of Lady Edith; creating impossible planting schemes with a focus on exoticly collected plants. He also said that the Strangford Lough gives Mt Stewart an almost “island climate” allowing warm air to swoop in from the coastline. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience working with discovering new plants here.
This garden was overflowing with life. The old terraces reflect Italian and French styles. There was also a small orangery nestled in the middle of the terrace lay out. Under consistent ownership and changes for almost 400 years, the property has a unique history. The house itself was built around 1200 and started out as a medieval fortress, eventually turned into a horticultural wonder.
I had the chance to work at this landscape garden for a short month. In this time, I met multiple, passionate horticulturists. The house itself was Palladian style (European style of architecture inspired by the Venetian architect Andrea Palladio) with a impressive lay out of large trees, winding paths, a grotto, and the famous Apollo's Temple. The property is centered around a mirror-like lake, that serves as a reflecting pool.
This garden has been a top favorite. The "lost" part of the gardens' title gives it such a mysterious and beautiful storyline. The beginning of the 19th century marked this gardens height but sadly many of the gardeners were called off into WW1. The garden, ancient greenhouses, and old signatures were rediscovered and sparked a passionate team to bring the place back to life. This gardens new perspective and main goal is to tell the story through the eyes of the "ordinary" gardeners instead of through the lords and ladies of the property. We read this story soon after walking through the gardens and I got so inspired by this rejuvenated dream garden. From the photos below, I hoped to capture the newfound life and flora of this beautiful place.
I had found this garden from an online social media account I admire and I knew from one photo I wanted to make it to this gorgeous place one day. Luckily, I got the chance to. The orangery created such a dream-like feel on this bright, sunny UK day. The old architecture mixed with the fresh green plant life was such a beautiful display of art.
This day we visited the Royal Botanic Garden of London; Kew. It was a clear afternoon and there were so many families out, enjoying the flora and company of nature. With this set of photos, I hoped to capture the uniqueness and beauty of various plants within the conservatories and grounds of Kew.
04/21/2018 - 04/26/2018
This trip was quick yet so full of new experiences. I visited for three short days in preparation for a year long fellowship I was employed in during 2018-2019. I was with UK, US, and Japanese horticulture students during the trip. This was my first time on the Asian continent and it was absolutely gorgeous. The way of life, culture, food, buildings, plants, and vibe was all around different and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The cuisine was pure seafood that was fresh and tasteful. The people were overly welcoming and kind to us. The island air was smooth and somewhat calming. The flora was bright and vibrant, with a hint of tropical climate.