residence & lawn gardens editor Clare Foster visits the Monmouthshire lawn of Arne Maynard, wherein he has evolved a at ease, romantic style and combined formal factors like a parterre with regions of barelytamed nature…
Arne Maynard came to gardening at an early age. As a very younger boy developing up in Dorset, he befriended a neighbour who allowed him to help in his lawn. Grandpa Smith, as he changed into known,might mow neat stripes into his lawn, followed closely at the back of via Arne with his own toddlerlength Webb mower. In his early teens, Arne located close by Cranborne Manor, then gardened via girlSalisbury. ‘The garden blew me away,’ he remembers. ‘It changed into full of a82ee8a4ee179e54beacaecce0423cb2 roses and dianthus and neat borders, very tastefully performed. I used to cycle over all through vacations to paintings inside the nursery there, and every now and then i might see female Salisbury running inside the lawn wearing her pearls. She’d be lifeless-heading roses or weeding after which suddenly a butler could appear with a tray of tea. I used to fantasise that she changed into my grandmother and that in the future i’d very own the lawn.’
advised closer to a safe profession, Arne began a degree in architecture, however it wasn’t for him and he gave it up after 3 years, escaping to San Francisco to work inside the hotel alternate. For 18 months, heplaced gardening out of his mind, however a surprising extreme bout of nostalgia for the English outdoorssent him returned, and he discovered himself working at Clifton Nurseries in west London, where he planted up lots of 1980sfashion courtyards ‘with golden conifers, lollipop bays and awful hanging baskets’,earlier than introducing himself to statuary and architectural salvage expert Peter Hone. He starteddesigning areas for Peter’s clientsa lot of them influential Londoners with weekend u . s . a . houses – and from there his career snowballed.

Arne Maynard working in his lawn at Allt-y-bela, wherein pleached crab apples and clipped hornbeam, yew and beech create a experience of formality near the past due-Medieval farmhouse.
Twenty-five years on, Arne is an the world over recognized fashion designer with loads of gardens to hiscall, and clients in countries as far flung as the us and Jordan. but his love for the art of gardening hasnever left him. ‘I always say my profession is gardening, and layout is an adddirectly to that. My ardour isplants and that i layout gardens so they may be gardened, frequently in quite an intensive way.’ Hisvery own garden at Allt-y-bela, a first-rate ochre-walled, late-medieval farmhouse in Monmouthshire (featured in ‘way of life‘ in residence & garden March 2008), suggests he’s still very an awful lot a arms-on gardener whilst time lets in.
made from nothing inside the space of eight or 9 years, Arne’s lawn is ideally fitted to the romance of itsenvironment, presided over with the aid of a great Renaissance bell tower and laid out in the contours of a small, bowl-form valley in which cows peer down at you from steep-sided pasture. it’s miles intimate and romantic, with touches of elegant formality balancing a wilder feel, and very exclusive from his previousgarden, Guanock in Lincolnshire, which become complicated, formal and complete of symmetry – ‘like a Kipp example‘.
Remembering Guanock, Arne says, ‘I ought to in no way go away the garden for more than a week or two,as it became so intensive. in the long run, it changed into just a rod for my own returned; a person elsebecame gardening it as I just didn’t have the time for it.’ decided not to let the equal happen at Allt-y-bela, Arne has designed a area a lot more secure in experience, where nature is authorized to encroach roundthe edges to combo the lawn into its rural setting. ‘i really like the concept of a mystery lawn inspiredthrough the Frances Hodgson Burnett ebook and want that kind of romantic feeling within the lawn,’ says Arne. ‘I sometimes marvel what could show up if I deserted it for a year. I think it might be rathernotable.’
A meandering move runs through the centre of the lawn, and Arne has labored this into the layout for a brand new outside theatre that follows the curves of the move and the slope contrary the house. Clipped yew, hornbeam and beech in random shapes are organized loosely near the residence to counterbalance the layered meadow planting further away, while criss-move styles of box and a row of pleached ‘Evereste’ crab apples – the darkish orange end result ofwhich bear a pleasant resemblance to the coloration of theresidence‘s outside – are the most effective other nods to formality within the garden.
the only intensively gardened patch is fantastically small: a lovely ornamental kitchen garden, in whichperennials and roses jostle with Mr McGregor rows of beans and lettuces with quite arch-skilled pears above. ‘If I had space for best one garden place, it would usually be the kitchen lawn,’ says Arne.

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