Marianne North:1830-1890

This week the BBC showed a film about a woman who was pioneer.

Marianne North decided to embark on travelling after her father died.

She used  her energy to a good purpose.

Grief did not get the better of her.

She travelled to see first hand the places where exotic plants grew.

These included Jamaica , Singapore,  India and South Africa .

She painted the plants as they appeared in their natural setting.

Some plants were even named after her.

Kew has great collection of her work.

The colours are stunning.

It was amazing for a woman to travel like this at the time.

Such people take great risks to catalogue plants .

We are lucky that such people have a taste for travel to such difficult places.


Plants: another perspective.

Palmstead Workshop this year was based around plants and what they have done for us. 

1)Dr. Mark Spencer concentrated his talk on Native Meadows and planting. 

It is important to consider this as it affects biodiversity. 

2)Plants are associated with Allergies. 

There is now a concern that garden designers try to inform themselves about species of plants that could induce asthma attacks in the very young and old.

3)Pollution is  a topic that is a concern to us all.

4)The RHS is doing research into plant physiology in respect to this.

5)Trees are very important in the Urban Landscape . 

It was therefore useful to have a talk on trees and Urban planning. 

Lyon in France has put back trees in the city with many beneficial effects.

6)Sadly tree diseases are on the increase.

It is now important to know where plants have been sourced.

7) Jinny Blom explained how horticulture can be used to alleviate trauma. 

This is now a well documented topic.

Sometimes it can be useful to take a day away from the drawing board to consider  the principles behind modern practices and learn about worthwhile changes we can all make.



Farringford faces the future.

 Alfred , Lord Tennyson lived here.

He was of course the Victorian poet.

The estate is now owned by two people who are well known in the Art World.

Their mission is to return the house and garden to how it would have been in the time of Tennyson.

They have the know-how to do this.

The  garden will have a superb Walled Garden , complete with a Victorian styled green house.

The paths will be in keeping with the times.

Ornamental beds and vegetable plots will also be present.

What a great way to show people what a Victorian Walled Garden looked like.

The house will be a museum.

Again , the public will be able to visit.

There has been some feeling that the owners want the public kept out.

However, this is based on misinformation.

A cafe is now open and cottages will soon be available to rent.

This promises to be an exciting venture.