13 Comments
Feb 24, 2023Liked by Why It Works

This is a terrific piece, and I'll be linking it on my blog, glenvillaartgarden.com, something I rarely do. The piece forced me to look more closely at the shapes and style of pruning. Based on the photos, I think I would remove some of the lower branches on the tree in the foreground but, as always, I'm reluctant to make that call without actually being on the site, where I could look at the relationship between trees, grasses, pavement and surroundings.

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Feb 26, 2023Liked by Why It Works

Hello Chris,

I found this through PW's blog link, and indeed endorse her thoughts about removing the lower branches of the foreground tree. ( And AW's note about her excellent thought-provoking book, I should add).

I'm also struck by how Richard Bloom has in some ways made this even more of a pleasing image - the choice of light, width of camera angle as well as the critical role of the lines of concrete/york stone paving in drawing the eye to the distance. Interesting that 2 different photos with sublty different angles are included here, which slightly alter the perception. Perhaps actually being there with our (probably) even much wider angle of view would have given a slightly different take on the overall scene?

Plus as I often feel, I'd love to see the same scene at different seasons. Is this very late autumn/early winter( probably?), or mid-winter/late winter? And if so, where are the late winter bulbs - snowdrops, Crocus ,Cyclamen, at the base of the trees? Are any used in the garden? Would they be an addition or detraction? Likewise to see the hornbeam underplanting for spring/summer.

So in many ways for me, it's a tease - I don't know the garden, probably will never visit, but would love to know more about it, since the design is indeed an appealing one, as captured at this brief, perfect early light moment in time, with striking shadows - the skill of both the designer, gardeners, but also very much the photographer.

Thanks for sharing this piece,

best wishes

Julian

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Feb 26, 2023Liked by Why It Works

Being an inquisitive chap, I've just found the online Sales brochure for Cogshall Grange, apparently "the most expensive property in the North West", which includes a drone aerial view of the property, showing the walled garden in mid-summer.

Again, not a view anyone would ever normally see of the garden design, but helpful in illustrating my point that the skill and eye of the garden photographer can have a key impact on forming a strong visual impact for the viewer of the image. Even over and above anything that the garden designer had hoped for?

Julian

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Absolutely - the photography manipulates, focuses and edits what we are seeing so we can only react to that. But that’s what excites me about doing these weekly case studies - I can only react to what I see. But I believe that there are core garden design elements in so much around us, and for me unpicking that is really interesting.

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You make a great point which is both the limit but also the focus of Why It Works. I want people to focus on the image (or images) and really dissect it. Of course, seasonality, different light and weather etc would all affect a composition, so this isn’t a full critique of a garden. Rather a snapshot of it there and then, captured beautifully by Richard. Getting all your reactions is so useful and exactly the aim. Thanks so much for engaging

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Thank you. And yes, it always needs to be considered in reality. But glad it made you think. And interesting to see you’re in Quebec! Had very happy times at the Reford Gardens many years ago...

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I spoke last August at the Reford Gardens and visit as often as I can.

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This is the stuff we need. I wonder how hidden away we all are on here? Quietly discussing those things we once created thinkingardens for?

Maybe it'll work this time! Hope so, and thanks for the interesting dissection.

Oh - and you must read Patterson's book - her garden is very special and the book fascinating. Xxxx

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Thanks for the endorsement, AW!

Yes, thinkingardens filled that niche... a place for conversation and reflection.

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Chris was a founder member, when we were a collective.

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They were exciting days, getting thinkingardens going!

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I’ll certainly look into your garden more. Looks fascinating

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Thanks! It is, as with most gardens, continually growing and changing. Lots of ideas in mind for the year ahead, some of which may actually be implemented!

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