Kokedama displays mark spring opening for Exmouth’s historic 16-sided house

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 February 2020

The Mayor Steve Gazzard and Operations Manager Salli Carr-Griffin at the opening of A La Rondes new season. Ref exe 06 20TI 7374. Picture: Terry Ife

The Mayor Steve Gazzard and Operations Manager Salli Carr-Griffin at the opening of A La Rondes new season. Ref exe 06 20TI 7374. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Exmouth’s historic National Trust property held its spring opening with a colourful exhibition of primroses and snowdrops.

Emma Kay, Visitor Experience Manager at the opening of A La Rondes new season. Ref exe 06 20TI 7388. Picture: Terry IfeEmma Kay, Visitor Experience Manager at the opening of A La Rondes new season. Ref exe 06 20TI 7388. Picture: Terry Ife

The flowers were hanging from the trees in the orchard next to the 16-sided A la Ronde house in Summer Lane.

Hand-crafted by volunteers and staff at the property, the Japanese-inspired 'kokedama' - a natural plant-hanging technique - were created over the winter.

Exmouth mayor Steve Gazzard and town crier Roger Bourgein were on hand to mark the spring opening of the house on Saturday (February 1).

The kokedamas are made with moulded mosses creating ball shapes with colourful spring flowers planted in them.

Emma Kay, Visitor Experience Manager at the opening of A La Rondes new season. Ref exe 06 20TI 7390. Picture: Terry IfeEmma Kay, Visitor Experience Manager at the opening of A La Rondes new season. Ref exe 06 20TI 7390. Picture: Terry Ife

The exhibition of the aims to give a different perspective on spring flowers and will be on display until the end of the month.

Visitor experience manager Emma Kay said: "The colourful kokedama are looking just beautiful and the colours really make them stand out in the orchard."

Scaffolding surrounding the house has been in place while works continue to repair a leaking roof.

The gallery, which features 25,000 individual shells, lines to roof space of the house.

A La Ronde still in scaffolding. Ref exe 06 20TI 7382. Picture: Terry IfeA La Ronde still in scaffolding. Ref exe 06 20TI 7382. Picture: Terry Ife

However, a leaky roof has caused damage to the display over the years.

Conservation work is continuing on the shell gallery which is off limits to members of the public due to its delicate nature.

The scaffolding surrounding the hexadecagonal property - designed by cousins Jane and Mary Parminter in 1796 - is expected to be in place until the spring.

Visitors to A la Ronde can see the shell and feather designs throughout the house, find out about the creative design and ask about the one and only male owner of the building.

There is also a 360-degree touch-screen virtual tour which allows every visitor to get up close to the shell gallery and view the shell ceiling as the Parminters intended while conservation work is ongoing.

The house is open daily between 11am and 5pm with admission costing £10.50 for adults, £5.20 for children and £26.25 for a family ticket.

Visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/a-la-ronde/features/winter-closing for more information.


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