News From The Borders

Artwork courtesy of Julia Weaver
Artwork courtesy of Julia Weaver

What’s going on elsewhere in Cambridgeshire, the Gardens Trust or neighbouring county Trusts

If you know of an event or activity that you think may be of interest, please contact

The Gardens Trust offers a wide variety of talks and events. Please see their events webpage for full details. Information on Gardens Trust training courses that cover Conservation and Plannning can be found on our Planning Resources page.

Forthcoming Gardens Trust talks include:

Tuesday 7 September 2021 at 10:00amTree Talks
A series of 4 weekly online talks in partnership with Yorkshire GT featuring our fascinating relationship with trees. Tickets £5 each or all 4 for £16. The talks comprise:
Week 1. 7 September. Trees in the Urban Environment
Week 2. 14 September. The ‘Right to Plant’: a political history of roadside tree planting in The Netherlands
Week 3. 21 September. A Man of the Trees: the life of Richard St Barbe Baker (1889-1982)
Week 4. 28 September. Commemorating with Trees: three forms, three stories

Wednesday 8 September 2021 at 8:00pmUnforgettable Gardens
A series of 4 weekly online talks in partnership with Norfolk GT featuring four stunning gardens in Norfolk. Tickets £5 each or all 4 for £16. The gardens presented are:
Week 1. 8 September. Houghton
Week 2. 15 September. Venetian Waterways, Great Yarmouth
Week 3. 22 September. The Plantation Garden, Norwich
Week 4. 29 September. Sandringham

Institute of Historical Research
Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Day & Time: Thursdays at 6:00pm
Room: via Zoom

Conversations across continents:
The movement of garden ideas, styles and plants across the globe

7 October        Dr Sebestian Kroupa, King’s College London. Georg Joseph Kamel SJ (1661–1706): Natural and Medical Knowledge in Transit Between the Philippines and Europe

21 October      Mireia Alcantara Rodriguez, University of Leiden. Plant knowledge depicted: Botanical identifications of seventeenth-century illustrations of Dutch Brazil

4 November    Dr Christopher Pastore, University of Pennsylvania. The Venetian interest in Moorish Spain and its impact on sixteenth-century Italian gardens

18 November  Dr Greg Missingham, University of Melbourne. Numbers of Paper Gardens: Notes on Western Attitudes to Chinese Gardens since 1860

2 December     Dr Luke Schoppler (independent scholar). British ‘Japan Gardens’ and Japanese ‘Western-style’: Cultural exchange between Meiji-era Japan and Victorian/ Edwardian Britain (1850-1914)

16 December   Dr Christian Tagsold, University of Dusseldorf. Turning Gardens in Japan into Japanese Gardens: Nation, Nature, Heritage and Modernity since 1890

The seminars are free and open to all

Flower show 1909, Hinxton Hall, Cambridgeshire Collection, Cambridge Central Library

A Series of Talks on the History of Hinxton Hall Estate

Wellcome Connecting Science, a part of the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton, is arranging a series of talks on the history of the Hinxton Hall Estate. The event, held in conjunction with Open Cambridge and Heritage Open Days, will bring together Georgians, jet engines and genes in a series of three online talks over autumn 2021 celebrating the launch of a new exhibition on the history of Hinxton Hall. Research by Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust has provided background material for the first talk, which will also involve our former chair, Dr Twigs Way.

The talks, which are free to join, are:
15 September 2021, 18:00-19:30. Hidden Heritage and Home Grown Veg
20 October 2021, 18:00-19:30. Engineering our Future
24 November 2021, 18:00-19:30. DNA and Discovery

Further details and information on registering for the talks can be found at this link.

Two New Books From Twigs Way

CGT former chair, Dr Twigs Way, has been busy during the pandemic and has published two new books in close succession.

The first is by Reaktion Books in their botanical flower series and is simply entitled Chrysanthemum. In it, Twigs follows the fortunes of the flower through philosophy, art, literature and death, recounting the stories of the men and women who became captivated by it. With a range of vibrant illustrations, including works by Hiroshige, Monet and Mondrian, it will appeal to lovers of art, flowers, history and culture.

Hardback, 216 pages, 90 illustrations, 78 in colour, ISBN 9781789142051: £16. Also available from other booksellers and online retailers.

Chrysanthemum by Twigs Way

The second is by Amberley Books and entitled Suburban Gardens. Most of us garden in suburbia: a private paradise encompassed by privet, the suburban garden contains the hopes and dreams of millions of gardeners past and present. From Victorian shrubberies to the 1980s ‘Good Life’, these small plots reveal the ever-changing aspirations and realities of the suburban dweller. Lauded by estate agents and satirised in literature, suburban plots are scattered with seating, sundials, goldfish ponds, and that most divisive of features: the overgrown hedge. With one foot in the country and one in the town, suburban garden style wavers from rural retreat to urban chic, decorative to productive, floral to formal. At its heart it is defined by its location and its size. Neglected by history, and sometimes in reality, this book celebrates the gardens that make up the green patchwork of suburbia.

Suburban Gardens by Twigs Way

Paperback, 64 pages, 80 illustrations, ISBN 9781445683263: £8.09 limited duration offer. Also available from other booksellers and online retailers.

Gin Warren writes: fun for gardeners and others who love nature and enjoy stitching!

Despite what their website may say, the National Trust Textile Conservators are back from furlough and are once again inviting needlepeople to contact them to take part in a project to celebrate 125 years of the NT – Quick, Quick, Slow: The Therapeutic Nature of Stitch.

They want to create a wallhanging which reflects people’s feelings, emotions and interests whether from nature, NT collections, or an individual’s personal experience of life. They say it will be a voyage of discovery for us all, and they hope we enjoy the slow, rhythmic and incremental nature of stitching which enhances wellbeing and will contribute to an amazing work of art.

People should write to The Textile Conservation Studio, QQS, Malthouse Barn, Oulton Street, Norfolk, NR11 6AF to say they want to stitch a square. They’ll receive an off-cut of the Studio’s tapestry support fabric to use for their work. Each person’s design should be 4” x 4” and will form part of a trellis design. They’ve chosen a mottled dark blue for the grid as this echoes the outer edge borders on many tapestries.

Allium Ampeloprasum babingtonii
Gin Warren’s ambiguous embroidery

I got my square just before lockdown. I was inspired by the crewel wool embroideries done jointly by Bess of Hardwick and Mary, Queen of Scots (who, admittedly would almost certainly rather have been somewhere else, doing something else!) at Hardwick Hall.  They are now on one of the beds at Oxburgh Hall. My crewel design is very much of 2020, however, and deliberately ambiguous. It might be a bulbil head on one of the Babington Leeks (Allium ampeloprasum var. babingtonii) in my perennial vegetable beds, and the colouring supports this. Or, there again, it might be the virus which causes Covid-19: the French knots suggest the proteins on the viral surface. In the spirit of Hardwick and Oxburgh, I worked it at The Ancient House in Clare and Freston Tower, both in Suffolk, on the two short breaks which have been our holiday this year. Yes! that is the Orwell Bridge you can see in the background. Sitting on the leads, stitching was unforgettable.