Since moving into our new house , I have restrained myself from rushing to the D.I.Y stores in order to not make rash decisions and with the intent to rest orate and decorate each room beautifully. The garden has proved another problem for me, due to the fact that the previous owner had lived in the house for a long time and in fact he inherited it from his parents, who were all skilled gardeners! I am a mere novice. I have spent the last few months looking and pondering at the amount of work to do , at the same time slightly apprehensive as to what to cut back and pull out. In my eyes it looks beautiful, I love the layout and it was not a streamline modern garden but more of the wild Victorian style. Everyday I see new flowers, so I am glad that I have held back but still slightly worried that I should be doing something apart from mowing the lawn.
I decided to take a visit to the beautiful Charleston farmhouse for some inspiration, the last time I went there, was over ten years ago. Charleston is set in the heart of the Sussex Downs near to the town of Lewes, it is the most important remaining example of Bloomsbury decorative art created by non other than the Bloomsbury group. The artists Vanessa Bell (sister of Virginia Woolf) and Duncan Grant, (the relationships of the individuals in the house is a bit complex to explain and not really necessary),Quentin Bell, many other creative individuals lived at the house also.(from 1912)
The group lived in the beautiful house for most of there lives and decorated every aspect of the house from painting the walls and furniture with stencils and detailed panels, screen printed fabric furnishings, pottery in the Bloomsbury style. throughout the house is examples of their beautiful artwork with influences of Picasso, Cezanne, Seuratto name a few.
The garden is an absolute joy, and indeed it has wild English garden feel, with vegetable plots and glorious carpets of colour from all the beautiful flowers. Nestled in between flowers and trees are examples of Quentin Bells sculptures and beautiful mosaics from scrap plates and pottery.
The property is thankfully owned by a trust , so it will continue to be preserved for more years to come. What amazes me is that the style of the house, interior and garden , in my eyes does not seem to date, each room appears as beautiful, not excentric or bizarre. So my visit to Charleston has greatly inspired me, and it has probably saved me a lot of money as I am thinking along the same lines to decorate my own house, it may take a long time but I am in no rush!
Regarding the garden, I luckily bumped into the gardener at Charleston and he advised me to leave my garden for one year, so I can see what is coming up when and where and gave me a few tips on which bulbs to buy. He also told me to go back with photos,(so I have no excuse not to go back)
All in all my visit was so inspiring, for house and garden ideas and I am desperate to start painting again once the children are back at school.