A Portrait of Sylvia’s Garden

I think my favourite painting from Mr. Pear Tree’s 100 for 100 series of original artworks is this one, above, from Sylvia’s Garden. Sylvia’s Garden was – and still is – part of my university in England, Newbold College.

During my time there I lived in a dorm called Moor Close that was once a sprawling mansion that entertained the likes of Sir Winston Churchill and other British notables. Sylvia’s Garden is part of Moor Close gardens, created in commemoration of the birth of owner Charles Birch Crisp’s daughter, Sylvia, in the early 1900s.

Sylvia’s Garden was a big part of my time in England – I co-directed a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream there, dreamed there, studied, read, wrote, shared secrets and even scratched my name in one of the old bricks.

Here’s a shot of the promenade I took the last time I was there. Sadly, the headless statue that once lived between the stairs is gone now.

The painting is no longer available. Someone snapped it up the day it was made available. I don’t actually know the people who purchased it, but I think they have a connection to Newbold. And I hope that when they see it, up on their wall, it brings back as fond memories for them as it does for me.

Perhaps some time I’ll show you Moor Close proper. I think you’ll like it…

– Words and photo by Lori-Anne Poirier

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2 Comments

  1. Lori-Anne,
    I think Kyle could paint 100 just of Sylvia’s garden and they’d get snapped up. It’s such an iconic memory for everyone who went to Newbold.

  2. Hi, Lori-Anne. A beautiful blog you have! Thought you would be interested in mine, http://moorclosebinfield.blogspot.com.
    Recently I was watching a British mystery and during some outdoor scenes I noticed the location and building looked very similar to Moor Close and I started reflecting on my experiences and good memories. This also played into my passion and hobby of digging up history. I always wondered about the owners of Moor Close and what their lives were like, so I thought it would be fun and challenging to dig up the stories, histories and memories. I have created a blog–still in progress–about my findings and hope you’ll take some time to enjoy and share with others.

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