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Thenford: The Creation of an English Garden

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With his wife Anne, the former Tory minister has gone from swinging the mace in the Commons to running one of the great English gardens. With our high quality and fast digitizing process, we help newspaper archives in converting their physical prints into digital format. They are here to talk about the garden, which they love fiercely, and they are not that interested in discussing anything else – certainly not politics, as we have seen (although they will, after a slight hesitation, reveal the time that Michael punched a drunk in the face). Since the photos are old press photographs they may have scratches, lines, or other wears of time, which just underlines the authenticity and age of the photos.

Accepting that the killer line about Boris that I had secretly hoped for is not about to materialise – I mean, earlier this year Michael described his Henley constituency successor as “a general who marches his army to the sound of the guns and the moment he sees the battleground he abandons it”, for God’s sake – I find myself babbling out of awkwardness. The garden at Thenford has an arboretum which contains more than 3,500 different species of trees and shrubs, including rare plants which were wild-collected by well known plantsmen including Roy Lancaster OBE, Allen Coombes, Keith Rushforth and Chris Chadwell. Active though they still are, their richest life now is in the confines of Thenford, basking in the splendour of the blooming world they have made for themselves (and, just occasionally, for others). But Michael is king in the garden because his knowledge of plants has always been so much better than mine. Our first stop is the Sculpture Garden with its interconnected series of ‘rooms’ enclosed by yew and beech hedges.Michael Ray Dibdin Heseltine, Baron Heseltine, CH, PC is a British Conservative politician and businessman. Their daily conversations with leaders and decision makers from Wall Street to Washington and beyond cover the latest in business, investment, and geopolitics. It is also well-known for its sculpture garden, which has an eclectic collection of work ranging from a white marble Tazza fountain to an enormous statue of Lenin.

At the moment, they open the gardens to the public four times a year; with the book, Anne says: “I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I run my hand over the list of questions about the state of the Conservative party and her husband’s forceful interventions in the Brexit debate that I’ve written down on my way here, smile back, and try to think of something intelligent to say about snowdrops. Love Island All Stars fans slam Liberty Poole for crying over Mitchel Taylor again despite pair's bitter split: 'They broke up like 10 times! In the meantime, whatever is happening outside, however much those beyond the gate are screeching about Marmite and the royal yacht Britannia and immigrants’ teeth, the garden will endure.I very much hope that one of the lessons we as a nation will learn from the last couple of years is the therapeutic effects of gardens and greenery. SEE the BACKSIDE OF the PHOTO - many times the image for sale will present stamps, dates, and other publication details - these marks attest to and increase the value of the press photos.

In their own words, Michael and Anne Heseltine describe the ups and downs of how they set about transforming and expanding a wild, overgrown and often dilapidated woodland at Thenford into the magnificent garden they have today. Beautifully illustrated with both professional photographs and private family images, this personal story of the creation of an extraordinary garden will delight horticultural experts and novices alike.

So there's that wonderful moment when there are primroses, snowdrops and forgetmenots altogether in the spring garden, and it’s suddenly a sea of bloom.

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