Every year, since 2012 we get an intern from University de Blois in the Loire Valley in France. These are landscape architecture students who in their first two years have to find gardens that will take them for 2 months.
We have been hugely lucky in that we have had some incredibly clever people here over the years. Our first student was Camille a sparky girl with lots of good ideas in the garden here. In the view of the pond, above, the edges used to be covered in bamboo. The three of us cut bamboo till she declared that if a future client of hers said, I would like a little bamboo here, her answer would be NON! She was here for our first visit by the International Dendrologists and we took her to the official opening of Lissan House.
She graduated last year and in the middle of January she started her first job in London… education is never wasted!
In 2013 our second intern was Rachelle. She was very unlucky to come here when BD had a prolapsed disc and unable to work in the garden. It was a year we had an abundance of Lady Sylvia roses.
However, she and JT did wonderful things in the Rockery which I will blog about some time next week. She also came with us on a tour of theEarl Bishop’s building projects in Northern Ireland.
Rachel also graduated and got married last year!
2014 brought us Laura. Despite her size, she was incredibly hard working .
Like her predecessors, she also had wonderful ideas about what to do in various parts of the garden for ease of maintenance. There used to be a path in the Walled Garden which was overgrown with groundsel that did not respond to any spray. After sitting together chatting and weeding it for an hour, we had traversed 1 meter. Realising it was very slow I asked her what she do if it was her’s? The answer came within seconds, grass it over. The path used to lead the visitor to look at a rose garden, long since gone; she was absolutely right. Paddy from the farm team removed the path, but the soil was very poor. On a later visit Laura showed us what could be done with a little fertilizer! The full plan had been wild meadow flowers in stripes where the path had been, with a push mower’s width between them. You never know, we may revive that idea.
She had, at the age of 17, designed a garden on the castle wall in Chateaux Thierry in the Champagne region. She will go far.
This year we are looking forward to welcoming Guillaume and Armelle. With out Head Gardener JR and KS we hope to do wonderful things in the 2 months they are here. Roll on April!