Usk in Bloom and No Guinea Pig

Sunday 4th August 2019

A Peruvian Dinner had been planned for years although when the Laird and Lairdess visited Peru they suffered from Altitude Sickness and had to be put on oxygen. Guinea Pig was the great fear. In Peru they eat Guinea Pig, deep fried Guinea Pig. But the Laird substituted Lama, which arrived by post from a rare Lama farm somewhere. We were enchanted and by the skill of the Laird in his gourmet work and science as never usually seen in a private home. A nearby lady, of European origin, was the only outside guest, and stood up well to the onslaught of Laura Malcolm, Matt Driver, Moira McMatron and Beamish O’Halloran, as well as myself. In fact she would have been quite unfazed if Laura had mentioned her loathing of the Chelsea Pensioners which she didn’t.

The next day there was a scene though when the Laird said at lunch that this European lady had bantered with him in the Waitrose car park to the effect that were he not spoken for she would have been keen. At once the Lairdess and Laura moved into battle position; they were a solid phalanx with necks thrust forward. ‘Which car park exactly?’ What time of day?’ ‘This year? Last year?’ The Laird dug himself in further; there had been coffee encounters as well! Worse and worse. ‘How many coffees?’ ‘How often did you…?’ ‘How many times ….’ It would have been just the same when they were at school, interrogating an errant youth, except they would have been sitting down, as one on an outdoor bench, while the lanky sixth-former would have been shambling about in front of them, scratching at the ground with his grubby shoe.

Now Usk in Bloom. Complete triumph. Usk is famous for its bloom, in fact. Many private gardens open. All day to wander round. Just loved it. Garden after garden where the main idea was: Let’s have everything we like all at once. No garden designer. Just a riot. One owner said, ‘I do love it gaudy.’ It was joyous. Even the Bonsai garden was joyous – so many of them! There was a fabulous area of allotment-style gardens, rectangular plots next to each other some distance from the houses to which they belonged. Such ingenuity and flair in shaping the plots, ponds, paths, all beautifully done. So in fact there was a design element, but I doubt the gardeners would have seen it like that. I was greatly moved. So much skill and knowledge, so unassuming and the results absolutely outstanding. No arse and grandeur and a 2-week course at the Chelsea Physic Garden. These people just knew how to do it. We under-estimate the vast bank of largely unacknowledged expertise and creativity in gardening that exists in our nation.

The final garden on our tour was the most extraordinary and unlike the others. Here was a strict colour scheme of white, green and gold and an incredibly complex arrangement of groves, ponds, gazebos, different levels formed with clipped box, choisyia and so on, all on a tiny scale. She’d done the front garden and the bit at the side in the same way. It was perfect of its kind. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it, a garden so absolutely a work of art and beautifully contrived and shaped.

 

'I do love it gaudy,' the owner of this Usk garden Said

‘I do love it gaudy,’ the owner of this Usk garden Said

Usk in Bloom: An Allotment Garden: Such Care in Design but No Arse

Usk in Bloom: An Allotment Garden: Such Care in Design but No Arse

A Japanese Corner: Usk in Bloom

A Japanese Corner: Usk in Bloom

Extraordinary Green, Gold and White Garden. Usk in Bloom. Never did a Garden come Nearer to a Work of Art

Extraordinary Green, Gold and White Garden. Usk in Bloom. Never did a Garden come Nearer to a Work of Art

Usk in Bloom: Green, Gold and White Garden. A Triumph of

Usk in Bloom: Green, Gold and White Garden (a Little Bit of Red). A Triumph. See How the Shapes are Arranged

Shapes: Usk in Bloom. The most Perfectly Contrived Garden

Shapes: Usk in Bloom. The most Perfectly Contrived Garden in Green, White and GoldĀ 

Posted Sunday, August 4, 2019 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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One comment so far

  1. Thank you so much for coming to Usk Open Gardens weekend and for the lovely comments in your blog. I am sure that our sister organisation Usk In Bloom (that organise the Twyn Square flower displays) appreciate your comments too. Hope you’ll come again.

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