On trees, geometry and kindness

I finally made it….  yes, I got to the majestic oak tree that sits like a sentinel in the middle of the enormous field in the Chiascio valley that we overlook from Bellaugello Gay Guesthouse.  A delightful walk in the late afternoon, dappled shade, birdsong, and the hedgerows heavy with blossom and the first still ripening fruits.  To my delight I discover that the field has been sown with sunflowers, at the moment they are still real small plants, but come late July the field will be a mass of yellow dominating the valley below Bellaugello Gay B&B

The tree is enormous.  Why it is there I have not yet found out, but as a focal point it is superb.  Back home I need to trim the laurel hedges that are now growing nicely and forming the geometry of the garden whilst at the same time providing screening.

My walk to the big oak tree and the geometric rows of sunflowers put me in mind of something I have been meaning to realise for a very long time.

Coming from the south of Scotland I am fortunate to have visited Charles Jencks wonderful gardens at Portrack House near Dumfries.  Charles, the widdower of Maggie Keswick is the man behind ‘Maggie’s Centres’ those bastions of warmth and kindness housed in sensational architectural masterpieces, that provide support and respite for families of people with terminal cancer.  The first Maggie’s Centre opened some time ago in Edinburgh, Scotland, now they are also building in England, each centre an architectural gem, warm, welcoming, and inspirational, for those interested here is the link: Maggie’s Centres

But I digress, back to Portrack gardens – Charles Jenck’s Garden of Cosmic Speculation.

The garden covers several hectares and has evolved over many years, is largely comprised of large earth sculptures and geometric shapes all covered in grass, interspersed with water, sculptures, installations and geometric patterns.  Check it out online: Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, Portrack Gardens, Dumfriesshire.

I remember many years ago a clipped hedge running along the roadside by the potting sheds at Portrack.  This hedge was clipped in wave form, as if flowing downhill, utterly superb.  Well for years I have wanted to make my own ‘wave hedge’ and now the laurel here at Bellaugello has grown it is time to get clipping.  The hedge is question is that one running to our infinity pool, I thought waves would be fun. But alas! can I find a picture of the hedge… no, I am just going to have to go out and chop!