Europe 1995

jack two
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The new improved Jack Holloway v.2

Europe 1995

1 Jul '09 8:55 am
On and off I will post pics and stories here of my trip to Europe in 1995. I have mentioned scanning these pics in my diary. The last pic today is a picture of my home for most of those six months. Oh, how I wish I could find one just like it again! But one doesn't see such things in SA!


During my 1995 trip I was fortunate to be part of a private group who visited Long Barn, the home and garden where the creators of Sissinghurst first lived. I believe the house still belongs to Mr and Mrs Brandon Gough, and Mrs Sarah Gough (and her dogs!) was our gracious hostess on the day. In scanning the slides I took then, I am pleased to see I managed to capture something of the beauty of the garden, still a loved private space, and still remarkably similar to what it was in the 1920s when the Nicholsons lived here.
1 Looking towards the terrace.jpg
Harold Nicholson extended the original building, dating from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries by adding in 1915 the 16th century barn forming the wing to the right, brought from across the road. They then set about planning the garden...
2 Long Barn from Lutyens' beds.jpg
Lutyens, who had added an old barn to Great Dixter a few years earlier, must have loved Long Barn. He was a friend of Lady Sackville, Vita's mother, and in 1925 he and Harold planned six raised L shaped brick beds to give structure to the lower garden.
4 A newer feature extended from one in Vita's day and no doubt influenced by the Yew Walk.jpg
Although the alley existed, it was shorter and not accented with a focal point at its far end; compare this to the Yew Walk at Sissinghurst which surely inspired this later development.
5 The White Garden at Long Barn is a modern development and tribute.jpg
Without in the least imitating Sissinghurst, this garden, complete with sitting area that evokes the Erectheum overlooking Sissinghurst's White Garden, pays tribute to the Long Barn's historic connections - a clever, stylish move by the Goughs.
6 An immaculate garden in its own right before any historical associations.jpg
Even if I had known nothing of the Garden's link with Vita and Harold, it would have been a great privilege to stand on this terrace and admire the prospect, the garden, the house and the solid oak furniture...
What a trip!
3 One can sense the spirit of the Nicholsons.jpg
The rather formal structure combined with carefree cottagey planting is typical of the way Harold and Vita worked together.

head gardener
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Keep On Scanning...

4 Jul '09 10:51 am
Wow! Home sweet home looks great, too - six months, did you say? I blush to say this, but I'm immediately thinking of socks and underpants. Oh dear... I guess it's the mother in me. You can take the gardener out of the mother, but you can't take the mother out of the gardener?

On a gardening note, I can't think of anything nicer in the middle of winter than to share your reminiscences of this trip. You knew about this garden and how to visit it - brilliant planning, Jack! More, please. Don't waste your winter evenings watching South Africa losing rugby matches to the All Blacks. Get scanning instead! Cheers, M
Head Gardener

valued contributor

10 Jul '09 11:07 pm
All the picture looks awesome. Enjoyed it very much. BEth

Happily Toiling Away
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Regina, Saskatchewan

Absolutely Amazing!

11 Jul '09 6:35 am
Jack, I would just love to walk about a beautiful garden like that for just an afternoon, and you were lucky enough to stay close to it for quite a while.

Spectacular! and I don't use that work lightly.

I just love all the rock work walls and steps. That's just how I imagine I would build a large garden like that. That house looks amazing as well. I'll bet it was amazing inside as well.

Yes, that reminds me.

I once had a house with an aspect,
of woodland and meadow and glen.

My aspect included a hen house,
with an egg laying, pecking red hen.

But my aspect burnt down in a bush fire,
over meadow and glen fell the rain.

Then the hen came to find me,
and crept up behind me.

That's how I got my aspect again! Image

A Gnome's at home in his garden.

Home gardener & plant fetishist
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Berkeley, California, USA

Yay! Look what I found.

12 Jul '09 8:10 am
Ahh, this time last year I would have been in England so your photos are just in time. I never knew they'd made an earlier garden together. A beautiful garden and one much older than you often see around here. I was surprised and pleased to see so much orange in photo #4. I think Moosey makes a good point about how best to use your time during your winter.

I've just gotten back from a trip to Oregon which naturally included several gardens. I didn't think to post it here where it probably belongs but just put it one my diary thread instead.

Thanks for bringing us along,


Good one Christopher! I'll never be able to read the word "aspect" again without a giggle. I heard a shamelessly punny tale on the radio on my way to the monthly aboretum plant sale this morning. (No where near as good as yours so lower those expectations!)

It seems there was a very good and very precise doctor who at the end of each day would always go to the same pub for a hazelnut daiquiri at precisedly 5:03pm. Before long the bartender took to having one sitting at the same spot on the bar at five o'clock, as a friendly gesture. One day, as he began to make the drink, he realized he was out of hazelnut liquor. Hoping to satisfy the doctor he substituted a hickory liquor instead.

As soon as the doctor put the drink to his lips he pushed it away sputtering "this isn't a hazelnut daiquiri!"

"Sorry about that", replied the bartender "but that's a hickory daiquiri, doc".
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

Tiger Lily
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Regina, Saskatchewan


12 Jul '09 8:06 pm
Jack, those pictures were fabulous! The beauty they show makes me feel so peaceful and awe struck. Thank you for sharing them.

Tiger Lily
All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.

- Helen Hayes

jack two
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The new improved Jack Holloway v.2

Thanks all!

13 Jul '09 7:15 am
Especially to Tiger Lily paying a special visit!

I'll post more soon - I think perhaps 'front gardens from around the world'. Seen from the street, so to speak. 'What do people do with their gardens?' is a subject that has always intrigued me. And I've got some nice ones too of the Great and the Good...

Mother Moosey: before I left I bought a stock of new CHEAP T-shirts, good underpants and good socks, a few pairs of jeans and a pair of black Cat boots. Things that could be thrown into a coin-operated laundrette and tumble-dryer and survive. And many things did. One t-shirt is still in existence, pensioned to the back of a drawer only last year. The Cats still exist, although they've been replaced twice. The original pair are really past it, but I wore them regularly for 8 years, and sometimes still shloff around the house in them just for the hell of it (I've reached that age...); the second pair have just been resoled and are as good as new after 6 years and the third pair are my 'good black shoes'!

All in all laundry wasn't a problem (it was the driest, hottest summer on record) but in Italy my friend Cornelius, who had joined me for 4 weeks, and I had an unhappy experience with an Italian laundry, followed by 5 days of washing swinging about wildly from a makeshift line zigzagging around the cabin as we motored through the rain, refusing to get dry and smacking us through the face whenever we tried to make even a cup of tea. Eventually, once dry, everything smelt mouldy the moment it got a bit of body heat, and we wasted a precious day of sun "doing the laundry" all over again. Camping in Italy is not for the faint-hearted.

Before I left (to continue the clothing theme) I seriously wondered if I should pack my gumboots, but decided against it, at the last moment throwing in a too small Christopher Robiny hat. I lived in that hat! I remember on more than one occasion picking up my camera case (a hefty thing the size and weight of a woman's vanity case - see the pic of me at Sissinghurst) after lunch and returning to the garden for the official photo session, having got an overview in the morning, and saying to myself as I pulled the little hat down low to protect my large pink ears: they won't believe back home what hard work this garden visiting business can be!

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