With all the garden placements and visits included in the 2016 REEP McLaren Scholarship you might be forgiven for thinking that our three Scholars had no time for anything else. Yet, they still managed to find plenty of time to enjoy one another’s company and to have some fun, cultural experiences.
Our three new REEP McLaren Scholars, Inés, Nezha and Rhiannon, met for the first time on Saturday, as they joined together to celebrate the 95th birthday of someone very importance to REEP – Mrs Nancy McLaren. Mrs McLaren founded The Martin McLaren Scholarship in 1989, enabling many young horticulturists to visit and study gardens in Europe over the following decades. This European scholarship is currently administered by the National Trust, while through the REEP McLaren Scholarship, REEP extends this work to Morocco and Spain.
Our three Scholars just couldn’t end their experience without paying a visit to Mrs Nancy McLaren to thank her for her kind support and generosity towards the new REEP McLaren Scholarship. Mrs McLaren founded The Martin McLaren Scholarship in 1989, enabling many young horticulturists to visit and study gardens in Europe over the following decades. This European scholarship is currently administered by the National Trust, while through the REEP McLaren Scholarship, REEP extends this work to Morocco and Spain. Thank you Mrs McLaren!
The Scholars had another treat in store for them today, as they spent the day in the Royal College of Physicians Medicinal Garden. REEP Director, Diana Lazenby McLaren joined the scholars as they received a fascinating tour of the medicinal plants in the garden by the very engaging Dr Henry Oakeley. They were fortunate to have a look at some of the herbarium specimens kept by the College too, and there was also a Shakespeare Plants trail for them to study.
As the first REEP McLaren Scholarship draws to an end, our three Scholars have travelled to London to study some important and historic gardens. Yesterday they were given a guided tour of Inner Temple Gardens. These historic gardens were used by Shakespeare as the setting for the fateful meeting between Richard Plantagenet and John Beaufort that sparked the Wars of the Roses!
Tonight, our three REEP McLaren Scholars watched a special screening of the documentary film “Bastards” at the Lexi Cinema, Kensall Rise. Directed by Deborah Perkins, the documentary follows the story of an illiterate young woman who took on tradition and family to have her sham marriage recognised and her daughter legitimised by the Moroccan judicial system. The film screening was followed by a discussion with Perkins and Rabha, the central character in the film. The event was run jointly by the British Moroccan Society and the Moroccan Children’s Trust.
This week the three REEP McLaren Scholars completed spent two days at the National Trust’s Ham House, in Richmond, London. Here, they learnt all about the historical features of 17th century gardens, such as the famous Ham House parterre. They also spent some time gardening in the herb border and the kitchen garden.
Our Scholars had a real treat in store for them yesterday, as they made a visit to the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show to study plants and design! They were particularly interested to see the Shakespeare Garden which was designed in honour of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary year. It was also a good opportunity for them to follow up on some of the gardening activities they have been doing during the scholarship, such as rose culture!
The three REEP McLaren Scholars have just returned from two days spent learning about 17th century gardening at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, near Birmingham. Here, they learnt to prune and train espalier pears and worked together to create an English-Spanish-Moroccan design for the centre of the garden maze. How wonderful to have a lasting memory of the Scholars time gardening together in England.
Our three REEP McLaren Scholars were fortunate to spend two days learning all about Elizabethan gardening at Cressing Temple Gardens in Essex. The Scholars enjoyed their tour of the lovely walled gardens, which include an Elizabethan knot garden, a dyers border, a nosegay garden, a medicinal border, culinary beds, a nuttery and a flowery mead! They also had time for some practical gardening, learning to prune and train grapevines, to protect and support plants with natural materials, and to clip a box maze.
On their return from Hever Castle our three scholars visited Hampton Court Palace and Gardens – once the home of King Henry VIII. They particularly enjoyed seeing the King’s Privy Garden, the Tudor vegetable garden, and the famous Hampton Court Palace maze!
The three REEP McLaren Scholars have just returned from 2 days of practical gardening training at Hever Castle in Kent – the former home of Queen Ann Boleyn. They learnt how to prune and care for roses and to clip topiary shrubs into different shapes. They also had time to explore the extensive gardens, which include a Tudor garden, a Tudor maze and an Elizabethan herb garden!