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Countdown to Tatton RHS '09: The hunt for a Hermit. Are you up to the task?
Complete silence, a ban on bathing and an appreciation of solitude are all part of the job description for a position that has become available at Tatton Park, , after remaining vacant for the last 150 years.
Head gardener, Sam Youd, is appealing for an individual showing promise as a modern day hermit to take residence in his ‘Hermit’s Grotto’ garden, which will be on display at the RHS Show Tatton Park in July (22-26 July 2009).
The successful candidate must look the part with an unkempt natural appearance, they must take a vow of silence for the duration of their occupancy and they must be able to live alongside an iconic skull, which is an essential addition to the hermit’s environment to encourage human reflection.
Sam’s grotto was inspired by 19th century romanticism when many jilted lovers turned their back on society to reflect and philosophise in solitude, whilst elsewhere grand residences embraced the trend to hire a hermit to patrol the grounds and delight house guests.
The grotto will appear very green and grey with the rocks of a cave being built using tufa stone and the rest of the area planted with tree ferns. Upturned tree stumps and old bits of timber will complete the hermit environment and naturally there will be a skull at the mouth of the underground labyrinth.
Mr Youd says: “It will take a certain type of person to do justice to the hermits of the 18th and 19th century.
“The Hermit’s Grotto is pretty grotesque but that reflects the reality of a hermit’s environment. I was particularly inspired by John Harris, the famous Cheshire hermit who turned his back on a large inheritance to live in a cave near Carden in Chester when his sweetheart’s family forbade their marriage.
“Anyone with half the strength of character that John had will be welcome in the garden and I look forward to meeting potential hermits.”
Kris Hulewicz, Show Manager for Tatton says: “When Sam told me he was in need of a hermit I thought he was having me on, but when I saw the design for his ‘Hermit’s Grotto’ it became clear that it wouldn’t be complete without the man himself.
“A Hermit’s living space is an interesting environment to explore at an RHS show so I look forward to the reactions of judges and visitors. In the meantime I wish Sam all the best in finding a suitable hermit to occupy his cave.”
Any interested applicants should tell Sam why they would make the perfect hermit by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the hermit hotline on 0161 274 3311. An interview may be required.
Male or female applications welcomed
Must be over the age of 18.
Essential to the hardcore hermit
A natural appearance
Desire to experience solitude
Ability to live in a grotesque cave
Must not be camera shy
Desirable – for the ultimate hermit homage
Facial hair (male or female)
Overgrown toe nails
Interest in human skulls