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Winter Lecture with Arne Maynard: The Planted Garden

February 02, 2019 2:00 pm

Duffin Theater at Lenox Memorial Middle/High School
197 East St, Lenox, MA 01240

Sponsored by The Red Lion Inn

From loose wildflower meadows to formal borders, from urns bursting with summer colour and texture to individual pots of special specimen bulbs, plants are what make a garden unique and are what root it in its surroundings. In the gardens of Arne Maynard, it is the soft planting that creates the atmosphere and excitement. Putting plants together is a passion fueled not only by his love of the natural environment, but also by his appreciation and observation of visual arts and crafts. Looking at paintings, sculpture and textiles can focus thoughts of balance and rhythm within a border, as well as inspire wonderful new colour combinations. He crafts his gardens just as an artist crafts his work.

In this talk, Arne will explore how he chooses and creates planting combinations for the gardens he designs. Using sumptuous photographs from gardens in both the UK and the USA, Arne will explain how -- by observing and using the natural environment’s plant palette for inspiration -- he can create gardens that resonate with the surrounding landscape.

Arne Maynard is first and foremost a gardener. His passion for plants and gardens began as a young boy, walking behind his grandfather in Dorset, as he weeded his vegetable garden. He remembers being distraught watching him thin out carrots to put on the compost heap. His attempts to rescue them were of course in vain, but undeterred, Arne spent his whole childhood gardening. Encouraged by his godmother, who regularly took him to local gardens of interest, his passion for design was awakened in Lady Salisbury’s garden at Cranbourne Manor. He recalls the thrill of seeing the view through the main gate, looking down the magnificent avenue of mature beech trees that leads to the house, and being bowled over by the beauty and atmosphere.

Now an international garden designer, Arne works with clients across the world. Central to his work is his ability to identify and draw out the essence of a place, something that gives his gardens a particular quality of harmony and belonging. He has a collaborative approach to design and believes that to succeed, a garden must relate and respond to its surrounding landscape, its history and the buildings within and around its confines, as well as to the needs of its owners. Bold lines and a strong architectural framework are characteristic, and hedges and walls are used to divide the gardens into separate areas and to give year-round presence and a sense of permanence. To counter-balance the formality of these lines, Arne often creates soft inner plantings of herbaceous flowers and roses that are casual, lush and expansive. Attention to detail, both in the planting and the structure of the garden is paramount, and natural materials, from stone to timber, figure prominently and these are always sourced and selected for highest quality.

Arne’s designs draw on a wide range of references from architecture to garden history, and from interior design to often long-forgotten traditional crafts and techniques. He will use details such as the coping for a wall, the design of a gate or a garden building to add another dimension and bring to a garden a further layer of interest and complexity. Most importantly, Arne is a passionate and experimental gardener. At Allt y bela, his home in Monmouthshire, South Wales, he is in the process of designing and landscaping the garden around the beautiful medieval tower house.

Advance registration for Winter Lecture is highly recommended, but walk-ins are always welcome, space permitting. 

A post-lecture reception and seated dinner is scheduled for February 2, 6-9 p.m. in the beautiful Center House Carls Dining Room. Join us for this rare opportunity to meet noted garden designer Arne Maynard and share a festive evening at the Garden. Limited seating - reserve early to guarantee a place. Read more and reserve.

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