We are delighted to have been invited by Arne Maynard to join his workshop in April next year. Sometimes there is just 'something in the air', a shared cultural set of reference points where people arrive at a similar point via different routes. Becca and I are huge fans of Arne Maynard's garden design and regular features in Garden's Illustrated. Gardeners have already put in their tulip orders for next year, and will be eagerly waiting for the postman to arrive any day now. So, the vaguely dutch bulb vibe is already resonating in the minds of growers and gardeners. We are not the first to offer workshops based around the work of Dutch Master's style paintings, in re-creating still life style corners, with flowers, fruit, fabric and light. This month we had an overflow of dahlias, and lots of vibrant late summer plants which carried on blooming. We have been so lucky with the weather this year. So we put together some dahlia arrangements in that celebratory overflowing style and took some pictures. It was kind of logical to think about doing the same in spring. Its only in spring and autumn that you get that angle-of-the-sun lighting and really sumptuous, exuberant flowers.
We also experiment in an on-going way with the best ways to photograph our flowers and floral arrangements. The beautifully qualities of light in Dutch oil paintings of flowers resonate with our own set of circumstances, we have no electric in most of our studio space, we have that clear, cold light, common to northern Europe for much of the year, I suppose we have a shared mis-en-scene, same plants, same light...
Anyway, circumstance and a bit of networking meant that we suggested the idea to Arne Maynard's PA, Britt Willoughby-Dyer, who also is the photographer for Arne (http://brittwilloughbydyer.wordpress.com/). It turns out Arne himself was on the cusp of publishing an article in this month's (October) Garden's Illustrated all about tulips and their history. So he invited us to contribute to his workshop related to this article. In April 2015, Tuesday the 14th of April to be precise, we will join Arne Maynard and Britt Willoughby-Dyer at Allt-y-Bella, Arne Maynard's house and garden in Monmouthshire, for a morning exploring the garden with Arne and and afternoon experimenting with flowers. Lunch will be provided.
tulip Isulinde by Britt Willoughby-Dyer
In the afternoon we will really encourage you to break the rules of flower arranging and explore the limits of your creative floral approach. We discuss ideas for planting inspiration in your garden, for cutting, combining and conditioning, and bring armfuls of our own, home-grown tulips, beautiful, elegant daffodils, nodding fritillaries, blossoms, hellebores and twiggy bits, of the kind you just cannot buy as cut flowers, all grown on our organic farm in Cornwall. Britt will be there to take photographs of our work too. It just can't get much better!
Allt-y-Bella by Britt Willoughby-Dyer
I am most looking forward to being in a place Arne Maynard has designed, to get an insight into how he works and thinks: about landscape, and plants and place. I really can't think of anything else i'd rather be doing, or any place i'd rather be. If you'd like to join us, follow the link above for more details (be warned you'll be hours looking at all the lovely pictures on this web site!)
All photos here by Britt Willoughby-Dyer taken at Allt-y-Bella