Hauser & Wirth gallery in Bruton, Somerset is one of my all time favourite places. Yes, the gallery and it’s resident artists are cool, thought provoking and inspiring, but I tend to dash through all of that, itching to get outside into the garden.
The garden, well, if you love gardens and plants as much as I do, then you will find it heavenly. Designed by Piet Oudolf, the internationally-renowned landscape designer from the Netherlands. Swathes of ‘prairie style’ planting engulf lawned pathways, that snake around the large beds.
Known as the ‘Oudolf Field’, it resembles a large perennial meadow situated to the north of the farmyard and gallery buildings. Carefully shaped and planted, the garden echoes the tradition of classical gardens, but the variety of species and combination of plants creates a looseness, softening the formality of its appearance. Grasses billow over and wave frantically in the breeze, whilst spikes of perennial blooms puncture the softness of the grass.
At the start of the garden is a large pond, covered in lily pads and flowers. We stopped for a while, searching for pond life, but were soon captivated by the Swifts, who were darting down to the water to sip in mid-flight.
Hundreds of birds were flocking and swooping overhead, feasting on the insects and enjoying this beautiful space.
A series of paths cut through the vegetation, inviting visitors to wander through the garden. The Radic pavilion urges us to move through the garden. The boys desperate to see what is inside (again), and again, there is nothing but a magnificent space made of fibreglass which, on a day like this in August gave us welcome relief from the sun.
The Radić Pavilion was installed at Hauser & Wirth Somerset in March 2015. Designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radić, this unique structure was first unveiled as the Serpentine Gallery 2014 Pavilion. But now resides here as it’s more permanent home.
Hauser & Wirth in Bruton is best seen in the Summer, when the beautiful gardens are at it’s best. Believe me, I have visited in early Spring and the space looks desolate in comparison. So if you wish visit, you must do so now.
Team your trip to Bruton, Somerset by having lunch at The Chapel (which also has beautiful rooms to stay in), shop at Caro (along the High Street) and take the 20 min trip to Frome and visit the independent shops on St Catherine’s Hill. More on all of these places soon.