The April event was a visit to the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. Three of the gardens we will be visiting this year were influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, so to put them into context we looked at the textiles and wallpapers in the Whitworth collections by designers such as William Morris as the Arts and Crafts movement was not limited to gardens but influenced interior design as well.

Dominique Heyes-Moore, Senior Keeper of Textiles and Wallpaper met us outside the Study Centre and first we looked at some of the textiles and wallpapers on display in the galleries and then returned to the Study Centre to see how although the design was the same for a particular textile, the way in which colour was used could completely alter the appearance of the design.

While we were in the Study Centre, Patrick Osborn, the Whitworth’s Landscape and Sustainability Technician joined us to lead us outside for a tour of the landscape around the gallery.  Usually we visit private gardens or landscapes and to hear about the day to day management of a public garden in a city, the problems of reviving earth compacted by heavy construction machinery and seeing the planting regime, plant very close to eliminate weeds and weeding,  certainly showed a different set of problems to those of a private garden. One common denominator is that city centre squirrels like tulip bulbs as much as their country cousins.

Thank you to both Dominique and Patrick for answering the questions and for providing two very different but equally interesting tours.  (AR)