Like all ideas, they always seem good at the time but when they come into fruition it can often feel completely different, much was the case with Aulden Arts. A few years ago, we decided to open our gardens and display some of our art work, as we feel that they are inexplicably linked. So last August we, us and our six neighbours, decided that it would be good to repeat the idea but in June. It seemed a lovely month to choose with the thought of warm, even hot sunny afternoons when the gardens are floriferous etc. But in reality, it was wet and chilly, but did we let that dampen our spirits, no of course not!
Opening as a group of gardens has many hidden advantages, not least sharing the baking, but also sharing ideas, chatting plants and in this case sharing art thoughts. But what is also lovely is, it gives us a chance to see and meet other fellow like-minded folk and to raise monies for such worthwhile causes as the NGS supports.
We are very fortunate in having not only lovely neighbours but also artistic ones! Our art work is very varied as also is the length of time we have all lived in Aulden, a very small hamlet of just a few houses. Jack & Jennie have lived in Honeylake Cottage for over 40 years, but I must be careful to avoid saying the oldest residents that would be a definite dog-house job! Obviously there have been many changes to our hamlet over the years, which they have taken in their stride and welcomed us all. Jennie is the artist specializing in water colours, a wide range of subjects but with a very distinctive flowing natural style. She is a very exuberant lass and this comes across in her work. Their garden is a true cottage garden in every sense of the word, with full to brimming borders, Jacks very productive veggie patch and even a small pond as wildlife is so very important to them. Tricia and Andy have a different approach, their garden is very much a green tranquil and very calming space with obviously views to the Herefordshire hills, otherwise Hill View would be a very strange name for their cottage! We all consider Tricia to be the most artistic of us, she has worked in many different media, but now concentrates on printing and life-drawing. She and Andy make a good team because he has a real eye for detail and for display, often in charge of both but with a sense of humour that might be lost on some. Visiting baby granddaughter Elsie, was enjoying the scene and hence labelled - Baby -- Offers invited - a relief to her mum that none were forthcoming!
Our newest recruits, making their debut this year was Bob & Jane of Oak House. The newest residents of Aulden, taking over garden which was initially designed by Paul Cooper to which they have soften the good structural bones and allowed a much more relaxed style to prevail. Bob is a photographer, studying at Hereford College and his work features both local characters as well as views both home and abroad. Those who visited will have seen Jane busy with her creative knitting, she is a whizz at socks using unusual colour mixes and hopefully if we hold Aulden Arts again, her socks will be on view.
As to us two, Alun gets a great deal of enjoyment from painting, especially as his teacher once told him off for painting the River Thames brown - his creative talents were curtailed at a young age! He works with colour, using photography as a starting point and pushing the idea out using oils in a distinctive way. Colour can be very prescriptive and we all have our preconceived ideas of landscape colours which are always good to challenge. We both enjoy photography but are definitely just snappers compared with Bob and I have just recently rekindled my interest in textiles and embroidery which has lain dormant for the last 30+ years.
Opening your garden to visitors can seem a daunting task but I can assure you that displaying art is even more so - one can always blame the weather, rabbits, voles or whatever for garden errors but art - well - all we can say is beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Despite the weather, a good time was had by all, visitors and artists alike!