Ella Duffy


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Hazel Press
1 August 2024
ISBN: 9781739421847
32 pages

From the publisher

Twenty-nine interlinked poems walking through Greencombe Gardens in Somerset by Bristol-based poet Ella Duffy.

Greencombe Gardens:
Greencombe is a woodland garden of mazy paths, tucked below the north slopes of Porlock Hill on Exmoor.

From November to February, the sun fails to reach over the hill and the land waits in shadow. It faces the bay and a mercurial stretch of water described as a ‘sunless sea’ in Coleridge’s visionary poem Kubla Khan. In summer, the garden unfurls into an otherworldly sunny paradise.

Plantswoman Joan Loraine (1924–2016) developed Greencombe over 50 years. When she arrived in 1966, there was only a thin layer of soil. Every autumn she gathered fallen leaves to make leaf mould, from which she made an enriching mulch to spread in the spring, a process that continues today.

The garden contains four National Plant Collections:
- Erythronium (small woodland and mountain lilies)
- Polystichum (the thumbs-up fern)
- Vaccinium (includes cranberry, blueberry and Exmoor’s whortleberry)
- Gaultheria (berries for bears)

Cover design:
The cover features details from the Greencombe Triptych, painted by the veteran 1960s' psychedelic artist and Devon farmer John Hurford. John made his name illustrating for Oz, Gandalf's Garden and International Times, as well as designing album covers. His work is crowded with highly detailed observations of the natural world.