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Art in the Garden

PUBLISHED: 01:16 10 September 2011 | UPDATED: 19:58 20 February 2013

With spectacular views over Wells Cathedral and Glastonbury Tor and local art on display this month in conjunction with Somerset Art Weeks, Stoberry Park Garden will delight all the senses

With spectacular views over Wells Cathedral and Glastonbury Tor and local art on display this month in conjunction with Somerset Art Weeks, Stoberry Park Garden will delight all the senses.


The gardens at Stoberry House are colourful throughout the year, but this September is the perfect time to visit. The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) and Somerset Art Weeks are collaborating for 11 days in this inspirational garden, which has been designed and created by owners Frances and Tim Young with pure passion and an eye for the senses. The six-and-a-half-acre garden is set within 26 acres of parkland and is a treasure trove of vistas, plant combinations and sculptures. Five talented local sculptors will be working together to make this a truly memorable experience, by displaying their works during Somerset Art Weeks in the grounds of Stoberry Park. Visitors to this fabulous garden will have the opportunity to talk to the sculptors and enjoy their works of art. They will also be able to enjoy the resident sculptures created by other local artists, while gleaning lots of ideas to take home.


The first area as you enter Stoberry is planted in a relaxed, naturalistic manner, carefully not detracting from the spectacular views over Wells Cathedral to the Valley of Avalon beyond. The main feature here is the pond. Originally a very rough area, it now incorporates water features and these in turn have attracted a variety of wildlife. There are also various sitting areas so that visitors can enjoy the outstanding views. Here you can see the African rondavel with an Ndbele design, developed from Frances African roots, which sits happily amongst the pampas grass and a large acacia. Jennys garden, a memorial to a dear friend, is also close to the entrance and this developing area will include a new sculpture that can be enjoyed by visitors during this event.


As you walk up the drive, the walled garden to the east of the house offers a completely different environment. It is divided into two sections: the part to the right of the driveway used to be a very rough area strewn with thistles and nettles and fenced to contain sheep. This is now the open part of the walled garden, with one area offering a view to the next and leading visitors into it. Features here include a lime walk, a gazebo and a potager.
The sunken garden, on the left as you enter the walled garden, is a much more contained area and you can wanderaround the pathways to explore every part. Grasses sway in the wind amongst rocky outcrops, with Zimbabwean metal birds creeping around the aeoniums, delightfully ornamental succulents, and there are large pots of unusual chocolate-foliaged Eucomis (pineapple flower). New vistas appear around every corner in this creative garden, where sculpture is very much part of the overall environment.


During Somerset Art Weeks visitors can enjoy the work of Ian Marlow, who will be exhibiting stunning sculptures in stainless steel and glass; Ians sculptures reflect the landscape in which they stand. Fiona Campbell works mainly in steel and copper wire; her elegant, textured steel and wire forms create a vibrant dynamic with the expansive backdrop. Christine-Ann Richards produces inspirational large garden ceramics; her high-fired vessels and sculptures have a serene presence. Sonja Klinglers visual interpretations of English sayings in blown glass, wood and stone come to life with light and colour. Finally, Alex Relph, who has undertaken various commissions for large-scale public art, will be exhibiting his architectural metalwork. Alexs sculptural steel furniture provides a stylish resting place from which to view this beautiful area of Somerset.
Such a combination of horticultural and artistic attractions is sure to appeal to both gardeners and art lovers alike.


Somerset Art Weeks at Stoberry Park runs from 18 September 2 October, 11am-6pm daily except Mondays and Thursdays. The gardens will also be open under the National Gardens Scheme. 3.50 to charity, children free. Refreshments will be available.
Stoberry Park is located just off the A39 (Bristol road) on the outskirts of Wells. Turn into College Road and immediately left into Stoberry Parks long drive (with free-roaming sheep).
For further information about the artists and Stoberry House and Garden, and for directions to the garden, visit: www.stoberry-park.co.uk.
Article kindly supplied by
Frances Young.


The NGS in September


The first-ever late-summer opening of the gardens at Court House in East Quantoxhead takes place this month. The historic house was the first seat of the distinguished Luttrell family befire they moved to Dunster Castle in the 15th century. The family returned after Dunster Castle was given to the National Trust and the late Sir Walter and Lady Luttrell created five main gardens featuring magnolias and rhododendrons and rare and tender plants which can survive outdoors near the coast. there are richly planted herbaceous borders along the Church Walk, and a traditionally managed, chemical-free, walled kitchen garden. Since the deaths of the Luttrells, the managment of the gardens has passed to Rosemary FitzGerald, who runs Beggars Roost Plants.
Court House Gardens (TA5 1EJ, 01278 741519) are open on 11 September under the National Gardens Scheme. For a full list of gardens open for the NGS go to www.ngs.org.uk.

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