Posts Tagged ‘ helena attlee ’

By The Time We Got To Woodstock . . .

. . . we were roughly fifty strong. I’m speaking of course about the Woodstock Literary Festival, where Helena Attlee was ‘in conversation’ with Victoria Summerley of The Independent, talking about our latest production, Italy’s Private Gardens, (out in a couple of weeks). The interview went well – you can read one blogger’s views here.

helena attlee

Helena faces the gentlemen of the Press

It was a bit of a race to get to Woodstock, as the previous day we had driven back from a brief holiday in the Limousin – river swimming through autumnal woods and much reading.

starry night on the Creuse

Garden photography for the next book is starting to wind down, though not quite complete yet. I paid a flying visit to the Eden Project this week (horrible grey light and drizzle, sadly), Northern Ireland next and hope for a brilliant autumn to finish. (Though perhaps we won’t get one this year – don’t we need late summer heat to produce good leaf colour?)

Biome at the Eden Project

The Eden Project

dahlias

tidying up at Wisley

Finally, a film to recommend – Morris, A Life With Bells On. Very funny indeed, whether you love or hate this most peculiar of English customs.

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New feature – La Scarzuola

A new feature by Helena Attlee in the current issue (25th August) of Country Life magazine – the extraordinary ‘ideal city’ created by the architect Tommaso Buzzi at La Scarzuola.

la scarzuola

la scarzuola

Alex Ramsay Photography now has a Facebook page of its very own, where you may find quite a lot more pictures and further scraps of news – please visit, comment if you feel moved to do so, and click the ‘Like’ button if you approve – thanks!

Alex Ramsay Photography

Journey to the Bottom Left Hand Corner

To the Isles of Scilly last week, to shoot the Abbey Garden on Tresco. We took the ferry this time, in preference to the helicopter, to try to get some small sense of the isolation of these islands. After 35 miles of heaving grey-green sea and ditto passengers, you’re impressed by the determination of the Victorian garden visitors who travelled this way in huge numbers, and (at first) by sail.The Scillonian ferryThe islands were as beautiful as ever. Thick fog and drizzle had shrouded much of our journey from the mainland (and grounded the helicopter), but to our huge relief it cleared soon after our arrival, and dazzling Scillonian weather made its appearance.

rainbow over samson

Clearing weather over Samson

The garden looked great, a skilfully managed profusion of plants from both hemispheres. It’s the only place I know where agapanthus is considered a weed – it has spread itself across the dunes, where it looks amazing against silvery marram grass and the turquoise seas.

agapanthus on tresco

Agapanthus on the dunes

tresco abbey garden

The middle terrace

leucadendron argenteum

Leucadendron argenteum, the Cape Silver Tree

And finally, today saw the delivery of advance copies of Italy’s Private Gardens (actual publication date is the 7th October). A pleasure and a relief to see it at last – only elephants, I think, gestate for longer than publishers. In any event Frances Lincoln have made a beautiful job of it, as always, and Helena and I are delighted.

A new feature – La Foce, Tuscany

wisteria at la foce

Wisteria tunnel at La Foce

An appropriately spring-like feature in the current issue of Country Life magazine¬† (21st April edition) is Helena Attlee’s piece about the garden of La Foce in Tuscany, made by Cecil Pinsent for Iris Origo and her husband in the 1930’s. One of its major features is the wisteria tunnel, which we were lucky enough to find in full flower when we visited it last May.

I’m just back from a short trip to Cornwall, where I went to photograph the amazing magnolias at Caerhays Castle, some of the trees being as large as a full-grown elm – an astonishing sight, though so high that I really should have brought a field camera with me. Nikon make a couple of good lenses with a fair range of movements – may have to be this summer’s expensive acquisition.

magnolia

Magnolia at Caerhays Castle

The Gardens of Japan continues to do reasonably well – the French edition has now sold out so they’re reprinting there too, and it had a good review from Robin Lane Fox in Saturday’s FT – you can read it here.

A New Feature – Les Ballets Russes

A new feature written by Helena Attlee and photographed by me in the May issue of The World of Interiors – a recently rediscovered hoard of amazing early 20c costumes from Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe company, designed by Leon Bakst. Wonderful things to handle – one of the great privileges of this job is the immediate contact with objects that would normally be seen behind glass in a museum

A Cossack tunic from the ballet 'Thamar', 1912

No Such Thing As A Free Launch

Well, that’s got The Gardens of Japan off to a good start. A hundred or so friends, family and acqaintances came and made a determined attempt to drink us dry in the intervals of saying nice things to Helena and I about the book. They bought a copy or three as well, I’m relieved to say. David & Sara Bamford generously offered us their beautiful new cafe and gallery as a location for the launch and the accompanying small exhibition. A very good evening altogether, and we even managed, just, to cover the cost of putting it on. Gone, alas,¬† are the glory days when books went hurtling down the slipway awash with the publisher’s champagne.

Book launch

some of the multitude

If you missed it, the exhibition is on until May 2nd at The Workhouse Gallery, Presteigne, LD8 2UF (01544 267864). Opening hours are 10 – 4 from Tuesday to Saturday, 12 – 4 on Sundays, closed Mondays. Copies of the book are also on sale, as are some of Jake Hobson‘s beautiful Japanese gardening implements. Oh, and if you’ve seen the book – and like it – we’d be grateful for a brief review or rating on Amazon. Thanks!

Our glamorous girls man the bar

A new feature – the Telegraph Magazine, Saturday 6th March

Ginkaku-ji Temple

The gravel garden at Ginkaku-ji, Kyoto

In tomorrow’s Telegraph Magazine, extracts and pictures from The Gardens of Japan. Just a taster – I’m afraid you still have to buy the book, which is published on the 25th March. Visit and support your local independent bookseller for choice, but if like us you’re miles from anywhere, you can always get it from guess who (link on the book cover below)
The Gardens of Japan

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