A day at Allt -y- bela

I have not been to as many garden talks and workshops as I do usually this year.  There is no particular reason for this, I just found that things were not catching my eye this year.  One event did very much grab my attention.  A garden writing workshop being held at Allt y bela, the home of the garden designer Arne Maynard.  I have visited this garden previously about seven years ago for a different course and I thought the opportunity to visit again was too good to miss.
The workshop was led by Helena Attlee and Emma Beynon who are described in the workshop information as being an award winning author and a poet.  Helena and Emma were so generous with their knowledge and passion for writing it made the workshop a total joy to take part in.  I have never been to a writing workshop before (shh at the back, I can hear you saying that is obvious') and I admit to being a little worried I might be out of my depth.  There is so much I do not know about writing and I am very keen to rectify this.
The workshop was even better than I had expected and I have no idea what I expected.  We were a small and diverse group.  We were all there for our own different reasons and that made it fascinating to listen to each other and appreciate our different perspectives.  There were several times I felt in awe of the words and phrasing of the other participants.  They had an eloquence that I can only hope to aspire to.
The setting made the day perfect.  It is a beautiful garden, it has a simple elegance that very quietly speaks to you.  It is that perfect mix of looking simple and yet showing great skill and knowledge.  It all just works.
It was a day I will not forget in a hurry.  It has made me think about how I write and what I am want to achieve.  Furthermore I am now pondering about controlling my cliches.  Controlling cliches has to be a bit like herding cats.  Just when you think you've controlled one cliche another one comes along, just like buses.  There they all sit, like ducks in a row, the cliche tree at the top of cliche mountain.

I have to learn.


  1. You make me laugh. And your voice comes through your writing . Now I can't stop thinking of cliches.... :)

  2. Sounds interesting, and of course you are funny! I agree with Karen about you having your own voice which comes out. That, and the passion behind it, can make up for any slip of the cliche ;)

  3. I really like your written voice. It feels genuine. Don't lose that. If it needs clich├ęs to be real, use as many as you like.

  4. Thanks all for your comments - very much appreciated

  5. I always read everything you write (even if a few days after everyone else!), unlike some other garden/gardening blogs I follow. I enjoy your style - it's engaging and often funny.


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