For our first outing since restrictions were lifted, the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden was a magical place for 25 D&D u3a members to stroll in and enjoy a sunny break.
Curator Vikki welcomed our group with an enthusiastic presentation on the garden’s history. Originally landscaped in the 1920s, the gardens fell into disuse, with overgrown trees and nettles and a stream that burst its banks every winter.
In the 1970s Dutch journalist Hannah Peschar and her landscape designer husband Anthony Paul took on the task of cutting back the mature trees and overgrown plants and building a weir to control the stream waters and create large ponds.
Unlike traditional British gardens, there are no flowering plants apart from spring wildflowers, no orderly planting of beds and borders – nothing is contrived. Senses and emotions are allowed to take flight as at every turn a sculpture or arrangement captures the imagination.
Many of the displays are renewed every year, with commissions from around the world for the casual walker to admire. Artistic styles vary from figurative to abstract, using contemporary metals, glass, ceramics and plastics as well as traditional stone, wood and bronze.
Like many, I was enthralled by a life-size bronze horse, its glossy coat glistening in the sunlight almost making it come alive. Near by, beside the lake that borders Hannah’s cottage, two ducks dipped in and out of the architectural fronds of the gunnera, reminding us that wildlife is very much at home here.