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29 September 2013

The Horn of Plenty

We didn't drive straight home to dream of Corvids...

Our energies restored after tea and cake at the Seven Sisters we headed to see Gillian and the Horn of Plenty at Little Yarford Farmhouse. Dilly Bradley, owner of the garden and also one of the key organisers when it came to finding suitable gardens when planning the Abundance Garden Trail, had organised a special preview of Gillian's Installation to raise money for the National Gardens Scheme.

Dilly explained that it had been quite a task, when alongside SAW's Carol Carey and Zoe Li, they had visited various NGS gardens in the early spring scouting possible locations. They had to choose venues that would still provide a 'hotrticultural display' in September, appealing to visitors whose main interest would be in viewing the garden as well as the Abundance Art. It will be interesting to know at the end of the exhibition what has been the main draw for visitors - art or garden, garden or art?

Gillian was pretty exhausted, it had been a tight deadline finishing the Horn of Plenty, working to any deadline is tiring mentally and physically and it takes awhile to be able to relax, step back and take stock that an all consuming project is finally complete. Gillian's progress was closely tied in with nature. The reeds that she used could not be harvested until the nesting season had finished, due to the unusually cold Spring this had been later than normal. Expecting to harvest them in mid august this transpired into late August early September...

To follow Gillian's project in more detail do visit her Abundance blog here.

On entering the garden the installation is not directly visible. When you do approach it, it can be seen from across one of the garden's three ponds, sitting on the Tump, you then need to venture through a 'woodland' track before you can view close to.

From a distance the scale can be quite misleading - once close up I loved the colour and contrast of texture.

Dilly had also found her artistic side; although to be a gardener surely this is already inbuilt. Around the garden there were small displays of abundance and harvest. Piles of apples, wonderful squashes and these blackberries delicately balanced amongst the rose hips - a small, secret detail that could so easily have been missed but a joy to discover.

Gillian welcomed guests and explained the thought process and construction of her Abundance installation and of course the question arose as to why is it empty? 

From the very beginning Gillian had planned not to fill the void, however when nearing completion she had been tempted to fill it but decided to stick to her original intentions. The black void symbolising how we live in such abundant times. We live in a society where we can eat Christmas dinner any day of the year, we have grown  blasé about seasonal fruit and vegetables when they are available all year from our supermarkets and sadly often neglect to harvest the apples that may grow in our own gardens...

The garden at Little Yarford Farmhouse is open this Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 11am and 5pm and is SAW Venue 34. There is an admission fee of £4.00, children are free.

Now did we all listen and pay attention to the message from the horn?

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