#4 PlantsGathering

a Da Vinci
 Gathering

a Da Vinci
 Gathering

Leonardo da Vinci introduced the gathering as we know it already in the 16th century. He loved to invite his artistic friends over to his lovely vineyard, were they could enjoy the beauty of nature, art and food. Photographer Richard Truscott exactly knows this peaceful and satisfying feeling you get from gardening and invites you to his own breathtaking Da Vinci gathering_______.

What’s your earliest memory of plants?

Richard: “My grandfather was an avid gardener and had a wonderful greenhouse – going into it always felt like an adventure for me. I remember the smell of jasmine and picking tomatoes and eating them in there with him.”

The Da Vinci gathering is reminiscent of Italy’s elegance and beauty... Any memorable moments in Italy that you would like to share?

Richard: “I love Italy for the food, and the simplicity of its dishes. I discovered my favourite dish there, in the Amalfi: spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, chilli peppers and parsley. I often cook it, it’s quick and easy.”

How does your perfect gathering look like?

Richard: “The perfect gathering would involve family and friends. People that you care about all together, on one hot, sunny day... There would be both adults and children together, perhaps a Sunday lunch where there is a barbecue. It’s really the company that makes a gathering, people that make you feel at home and help you escape the working life. A time where everyone drops their guards and just become themselves. It’s hard to get that time nowadays.”

What’s your earliest memory of plants?

Richard: “My grandfather was an avid gardener and had a wonderful greenhouse – going into it always felt like an adventure for me. I remember the smell of jasmine and picking tomatoes and eating them in there with him.”

The Da Vinci gathering is reminiscent of Italy’s elegance and beauty... Any memorable moments in Italy that you would like to share?

Richard: “I love Italy for the food, and the simplicity of its dishes. I discovered my favourite dish there, in the Amalfi: spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, chilli peppers and parsley. I often cook it, it’s quick and easy.”

How does your perfect gathering look like?

Richard: “The perfect gathering would involve family and friends. People that you care about all together, on one hot, sunny day... There would be both adults and children together, perhaps a Sunday lunch where there is a barbecue. It’s really the company that makes a gathering, people that make you feel at home and help you escape the working life. A time where everyone drops their guards and just become themselves. It’s hard to get that time nowadays.”

‘MY GARDEN IS MY SANCTUARY. EVERYTIME I COME HOME FROM A WORK TRIP THE FIRST THING THAT I WANT TO DO IS CUT MY GRASS AND TEND TO MY PLANTS.’

How do your weekends look like?

Richard: “Weekends are a sacred time for my family, which includes my twin boys. We eat together and spend time together – we hang on to these moments. The twins usually suggest (demand) what the menu is. Ninety-five percent of the time it’s a roast dinner or lunch. It’s such a lovely thing to do, to just simply gather and talk at the table.”

What inspires you the most about nature?

Richard: “It came back to me a while ago when I was in North Umbria on a work trip. The moorlands are so grand and so inspiring and beautiful. Seeing wild deer running past us, I thought, “That’s life. That’s how it is.” It reminded me of how nature has this powerful ability to humble us. It is a great grounder, it brings us back to reality. We don’t have control over nature, nature has control over us. It’s not about me, there’s so much more going on in the world.”

Plants on your garden table?

Richard: “As well as gardening I love cooking so there are always chilli plants and various herbs. Nothing beats cooking outside and adding these straight from the garden. The herbs are also great added to a jug of fresh cut flowers.”

You mentioned that you love cooking outside and adding herbs straight from the garden. What are your favourite dishes to prepare?

Richard: “My favourite dish to prepare is a barbecue chicken made with rosemary, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and sage. It’s very simple, made straight off the barbecue. Sometimes I also do fish on the barbecue, a sea bass or a mackerel. My main herbs for seasoning are rosemary, thyme, sage and mint, among many others.”

When did you last buy someone plants?

Richard: “This summer I was lucky enough to get tickets for the Chelsea Flower Show and discovered some amazing antique blue roses there that had won the RHS Rose of the Year award. I have ordered some to be delivered later this year for my garden.

‘A PAINTER SHOULD BEGIN EVERY CANVAS WITH A WASH OF BLACK, BECAUSE ALL THINGS IN NATURE ARE DARK EXCEPT WHERE EXPOSED BY THE LIGHT.’

- Leonardo da Vinci

How do your weekends look like?

Richard: “Weekends are a sacred time for my family, which includes my twin boys. We eat together and spend time together – we hang on to these moments. The twins usually suggest (demand) what the menu is. Ninety-five percent of the time it’s a roast dinner or lunch. It’s such a lovely thing to do, to just simply gather and talk at the table.”

What inspires you the most about nature?

Richard: “It came back to me a while ago when I was in North Umbria on a work trip. The moorlands are so grand and so inspiring and beautiful. Seeing wild deer running past us, I thought, “That’s life. That’s how it is.” It reminded me of how nature has this powerful ability to humble us. It is a great grounder, it brings us back to reality. We don’t have control over nature, nature has control over us. It’s not about me, there’s so much more going on in the world.”

Plants on your garden table?

Richard: “As well as gardening I love cooking so there are always chilli plants and various herbs. Nothing beats cooking outside and adding these straight from the garden. The herbs are also great added to a jug of fresh cut flowers.”

You mentioned that you love cooking outside and adding herbs straight from the garden. What are your favourite dishes to prepare?

Richard: “My favourite dish to prepare is a barbecue chicken made with rosemary, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and sage. It’s very simple, made straight off the barbecue. Sometimes I also do fish on the barbecue, a sea bass or a mackerel. My main herbs for seasoning are rosemary, thyme, sage and mint, among many others.”

When did you last buy someone plants?

Richard: “This summer I was lucky enough to get tickets for the Chelsea Flower Show and discovered some amazing antique blue roses there that had won the RHS Rose of the Year award. I have ordered some to be delivered later this year for my garden.

What’s your favourite plant store?

Richard: “I love Peterham Nurseries near Richmond in London. They have an incredible selection of plants, furniture and things you never knew you even needed for your garden, all set in a stunning Georgian kitchen garden. It is a tranquil oasis just outside London and very inspiring. It’s impossible to leave empty handed. You can even eat amongst the plants.”

On what unexpected place do you like to put your plants?

Richard: “I have a huge antique glazed cabinet in my kitchen and have planted succulents in antique tins and pots to sit amongst the plates and glasses.”

When you think of a bush of plants, what plants do you imagine?

Richard: “Trachelospermum Jasminoides – work takes me to many far away destinations including the Carribean where there are so many of these plants. The smell takes me back to living in Barbados when I was a child and to my Grandfather’s greenhouse in Cornwall.”

Without plants, life would be....

Richard: “Stressful and intolerable. My garden is my sanctuary. Everytime I come home from a work trip the first thing that I want to do is cut my grass and tend to my plants. This always relaxes and grounds me.”

Most memorable fashion show with plants?

Richard: “When Raf Simons was at Dior he created an amazing show at the Louvre made out of a mountain of Delphiniums. More breathtaking than the collection!”

Which plant symbolizes a highlight in your life?

Richard: “The two roses in my garden – one shrub and one climber - which were planted for each of my twin boys before they were born. Everytime I see them they make me smile - and they don’t cost me as much or give me as much grief as my children do.”

Best trick to keep your plants fresh and green?

Richard: “Besides water and sun, I like to sing them the odd Johnny Cash tune.”

Did you know that Johnny Cash’s “Flesh and Blood” was about nature? Any thoughts or special memories about the song?

Richard: “I love that song! It’s about everything. It’s about living, it’s about death. It’s about passion and love. It’s about what you leave behind______.”

Text
Rosanne Loffeld and Angel Trinidad