StonesamongtheflowersSculptures and plantsmake a powerful combination, as twobeautiful Trust gardens illustrate, writes Iain GaleThe idea of a sculpture garden is hardlynew. Sculptures and statues have beenused to decorate gardens and landscapessince the Renaissance. In the Trust'sproperties there are several notableexamples, famously those at Newhailes,Broughton and Culzean. With the introduction of such a gardento Threave, however, the Trust hasinitiated an idea which, if taken up andnurtured, would have the capability ofadding another dimension to some of thenation's finest gardens.Threave came to the Trust in 1948through the then owner Major AlanGordon, who continued to live thereuntil his death in 1957. Such was thescale of the 60-acre garden that in 1960 adecision was taken to establish a schoolPhotography:Mike Bolam53?
54GARDENS?SUMMER 2012WWW.NTS.ORG.UKThreave provides anideal environment for enjoying sculpturessuch as, from top,Bone Form 1, by JennyPope; St Francis, byRonald Rae; Fox, byElizabeth Waugh; andRed Kite, by Dawn Rhodesof gardening here. The school quickly developed aninternational reputation and today its successorcontinues that excellence in teaching practice.The immediate thing that hits you on a visit toThreave is the intense level of activity. This is verymuch a living environment, with gardeners constantlyat work. It is something of a contrast, then, to visitthe placid space of the newly installed sculpturegarden. The works have been placed discreetly out of thegeneral view within the hedged confines of theformal garden, which sits in a location on the westside of Threave Garden, close to the house. This initself is an inspired move, enabling visitors to choosewhether or not they wish to encounter art on theirvisit. Those who do are in for a treat.Entering through the break in the hedge you areconfronted by the large white abstract entitled BoneForm 1. This is the work of Jenny Pope, who iscurrently working at Edinburgh sculpture workshopand who had approached the Trust with a view toshowing her work.Turn to the right and you encounter the smallanimal sculptures of local sculptor Elizabeth Waugh,a cat, an otter and a fox, all of them at once stylisedand naturalistic and at home in this rural environment.Up on the raised stone plinth at the end of thegarden sits an intriguing Hepworth-like pierced form,which, the sculpture garden's project manager GeorgeThomas explains, has been in the garden for a while."We raided other sculptures and put them into theformal garden," says George, who was a student atThreave and currently works there as a volunteer.?