Did you encounter Dan Pearson’s ‘William Morris’ meadow at Compton Verney this year? Now the dust has settled and the wild flowers have been cropped, I thought I’d take a look back through poppy tinted spectacles to see what valuable lessons were learned.
At one time or another, most everybody wonders of the sights our feathered friends enjoy. To be a bird flying high above tree covered hills and swooping low over lakes and meadows, perching high in branches or hopping silently across lawns. The sights they see are thankfully at last within our grasp due to a growing range of flying photographic devices now available.
Professional drone photography is still developing, with much footage now making its way into television programmes as these devices offer new images, mostly never seen before. Gardens and landscapes of course are a magnet for such hi-technology, and as a landscape manager, I’ve looked for an opportunity to capture my landscape in such a way.
For many organisations however, professional drone footage is reserved for larger, funded filming projects. I’m glad therefore to bring this post with some fresh footage captured recently by one of our latest volunteer recruits to the Compton Verney team; Jan Gillet. We arranged special access for Jan to fly his machine through the grounds.
For this session we focused, literally, on the West Lawn area currently referred to as Dan Pearson’s William Morris Meadow. If drone photography is your main focus, then an unedited clip is available on the Compton Verney Grounds YouTube channel, however the following link is to a compilation of clips, which exhibit the scale and progress of the meadow to the mid-July point. We’re still developing our technique, but as we’ve recorded it, I thought we ought to share it. Many thanks to Jan for the filming, a great result indeed – enjoy!
More Than A Meadow by Gary Webb & Jan Gillett
We have been extra busy bees at Compton Verney this last year, enriching a large area usually referred to as the west lawn. A large part of the lawn has been managed for wild flowers for a handful of years now, and although there were flushes of brilliance, the cowslips in particular giving a good show; the lawn was some way from becoming a wild flower meadow feature.
Thought I’d add a quick blog post to let you know that Dan Pearson, the designer for our William Morris wild flower meadow at Compton Verney this year has today been awarded a Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show for the Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden!
The garden was also awarded the prestigious Best Show Garden award, and is a real triumph for naturally planted gardens at Chelsea; a style that we know is close to Dan’s heart. The show garden is inspired by Chatsworth’s ornamental Trout Stream and Paxton’s rockery, and if you’re not planning to visit, the garden can be seen on the excellent RHS Chelsea Flower Show coverage tonight at 8pm, and throughout the week.
I’m sure this news will be warmly welcomed, a great achievement indeed for Dan and his team, and for the Chatsworth team who are new to the Chelsea show garden arena. We’re now even more thrilled as we look forward to The Dan Pearson and William Morris Meadow that is currently under preparation at Compton Verney – opening from June 27 as part of The Arts and Crafts House exhibition.
Great news indeed!
Gary Webb, Head of Landscape and Gardens at Compton Verney.
In June this year we’re looking forward to re-presenting the West Lawn at Compton Verney as the William Morris Wild Flower Meadow, an external element of the Arts and Crafts House exhibition. We’re lucky to have on board leading garden designer Dan Pearson who is designing the meadow, taking for his inspiration a William Morris design.
Dan Pearson will be a familiar name to anyone in and around the gardening world, but to others, there’s an opportunity to hear more following Dan’s interview with Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs last weekend. We’re excited to be working with such a respected designer for our exhibition, and with his Chatsworth House inspired Chelsea Flower Show garden also under preparation, it’s sure to be a busy year for Dan.
So, for an insight to this designers life and experience, do follow the link for a relaxing and inspiring 45 minutes…
After all: “A weed is just a wild flower in the wrong place”.
To present a garden, and in my case a landscape garden in a certain way requires finding a balance, a balance between what we actively plant in terms of ornamentals, but more widely, considering a balance in terms of the ‘weeds’ we retain as wild flowers. Does this make sense? Continue reading
I’m glad to report that our west lawn has received its end of season cut, amidst much activity on site. Now part of our ongoing maintenance schedule for the lawn, we aim to carry out this activity each season in the pursuit of a richer wild flower sward – from 2016 we’ll be cutting this area from mid-summer.