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Nori Pope – planting designer, obituary

Colour in the Garden, Sandra and Nori Pope

Thanks to Noel Kingsbury’s blog post I’ve discovered the sad news of the passing of Nori Pope.  Although I never had the pleasure of listening or talking to him, I did have the opportunity to visit his and Sandra’s garden back in 2004. As it turns out, a fortuitous visit enroute from Yorkshire to Cornwall on holiday, as it wasn’t much time after this that they both returned to Canada.

Noel’s writing certainly conveys their creative passion for colour in the garden. And how they manipulated planting colour following a musical theme. And sadly, what’s happened to the garden now.

Planting designs are so inherently burdened with the 4th dimension, time…. and how the creative design can be lost if not nurtured by the right custodian.

I came across Sandra and Nori Pope’s work when I was teaching at Leeds University.  A colleague Dr Jim Nobbs, running a colour science module for design students on colour in design, asked me if I’d like to give a couple of lectures on colour in garden design.

Back then, my interest in garden design had only just been sparked (see previous post).  So it was all new to me.  But after searching and digging round the internet I discovered a few books.  One I’ve spoken of previously (by Sandra Austin) and another by Sandra and Nori Pope…. and that’s when I found out about Hadspen House in Somerset, and had to go.  My photos will be on an old computer somewhere so I must dig them out… but do take a look at Noel’s post as he has some lovely pictures there.

Judging from Noel’s insightful words, it seems like I was one of the lucky ones…

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