I’ve been thinking about the difference between this residency and the one at Boldshaves garden last year. Boldshaves was a private garden open to the public for the Wealden literary festival and in the week in the afternoons at certain times of year. Russell Gardens is fully public but was part of a large private estate and is still formally linked to the private garden at Kearsney Court.
Like all gardens they are bounded spaces and also open to the universe: sky, land, water, trees and plants from all over the world; curated spaces which remind us that we are part of a world beyond any borders we may set up.
Gardens can be sanctuaries too: the formal layout and design of Russell Gardens provides a setting and a kind of calm that is a backdrop for the turmoil of our emotions and disruptions that life throws at us. Kearsney Court gardens have been a place of personal tragedy and also healing.