Of all the articles I wrote for the Bristol Magazine this was my favourite. It was just a lovely way to spend a bit of time, meeting Ali Tremlet and then being shown around the Cathedral Garden.
The Bristol Cathedral Garden
So far I have written about some of the places in Bristol that I treasure. I was starting to think I was running out of places to visit when I got an email from Ali Tremlet the head (and only) gardener at the Bristol Cathedral Garden. She suggested that I come and see their garden. Being as I always want to explore new bits of Bristol I jumped at the chance.
I met Ali outside the Cathedral (bottom of Park Street), where she works. There was an assembly going on so we snuck in across a car park and in through the side door. Normally, access is available through the main Cathedral, following the signs for gardens (and toilets). I was glad we took this way in as when I walked through the cloister I was immediately hit by a serenity that only old religious buildings seem to resonate. Entering into the garden itself I discovered that this serenity was obviously not confined to the bricks and mortar of the Cathedral as the garden, despite being in a Christian setting and full of plants, had a peaceful Zen like quality to it.
“It used to be a graveyard”, explained Ali. A second look and more focused look revealed the gravestones of old Cannons, Bishops and Deans of the Cathedral. Which may sound rather morbid but in fact I found it rather comforting. I felt as if these men of the cloth would appreciate having some kind of life in their resting place. As I am certain they saw enough life during their living years!
Despite it being winter when I visited the garden still felt full of life. The winter flowers of the witch hazel were in bloom, crocuses were poking out of the ground just weeks away from flowering and the sleeping herbaceous perennials offered that glimpse of colour that forever stains our winter into spring. I cannot wait to see this garden in the spring, taking a cup of tea from the café in its corner, sitting on a bench beneath one of the massive Planes that lie on its edge. I am very thankful that Ali got in touch as this little garden is a true gem. Part of me wishes I had not written this so that I can keep it all to myself!