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 •  November 7

Garden Finder entry for RSBP Lodge Garden; I don’t miss the Lodge Garden of the 1870s – because there is no reason to think its quality was exceptional. Nor do I miss the Lodge Garden of the 1930s, partly for the same reason and partly because the National Trust has made so many ‘improved Arts and Crafts’ gardens. The RSBP Lodge bulding, near...

gardenvisit

 •  November 7

Which is the best Royal Park for garden-loving visitors? The more I think about London’s Royal Parks, the better I like them. So I can’t give a favourite. But if a gardening friend was coming to London and said ‘I’ve only got time for one Royal Park – which should it be?’ I would say ‘Regent’s Park’. If an architect or urban designer asked me...

gardenvisit

 •  November 5

The central axis of Wrest Park Garden is one of the best examples of the High Baroque Style of garden design in England Wrest Park is not as well-visited as it deserves. The garden was restored in 2011 and, faced with the question ‘when should it be restored to?’, English Heritage took the sensible decision to restore separate parts of the garden...

gardenvisit

 •  November 5

A period garden in the old walled garden at Stockwood (photo Stockwood Discovery Centre) Stockwood Park in Bedfordshire has an interesting collection of period gardens in various styles. I like them but would like them even more if the the designers had been more careful in making use of known information about historic styles of garden design in...

gardenvisit

 •  November 3

The oriental pavilion at Woburn Abbey, as it was built in 2011 and as shown in Repton’s Red Book. The grotto was built in the early nineteenth century. Though often described as a ‘rockery’, I think grotto is a more appropriate term. Rock gardens were late nineteenth century garden features. Congratulations to Woburn Abbey Garden for its on-going...

gardenvisit

 •  November 1

Sigiriya’s garden was probably made by Buddhist monks Sigiriya has an exceptionally interesting garden. Though often described as a ‘palace garden’ its character is much more likely to derive from the time when it was a Buddhist monastery. What looks at first sight like a ‘formal water garden’ of the kind made in Renaissance Europe was probably a...

gardenvisit

 •  November 1

Kathy Brown’s beautiful garden Kathy Brown writes on cooking and has made a garden which is as much appreciated for its beauty as for its cakes. Kathy is the author of a book on The Edible Flower Garden. I wish more people used their gardens to grow food, as well as for delight. The first horticultural enclosure was made more than 10,000 years...

gardenvisit

 •  October 31

Beliefs have led to the planting of Nelumbo nucifera the Sacred Lotus since ancient times Beliefs have always influenced garden design styles, just as they influence contemporary gardens. And just as they will surely influence future gardens. I do not have a religion but I do believe in beliefs and in their importance for designers. Neil...

gardenvisit

 •  October 31

The Ganges is a sacred river, particularly where it flows flows north at Varanassi, enclosed on the west bank and open to a floodplain on the east bank Neil MacGregor’s Living with the Gods episode on water does not mention gardens, but it could have done! MacGregor starts by talking about water in Christianity and Islam before devoting most of...

gardenvisit

 •  October 31

With regard to garden design, I’m a great believer in the importance of beliefs – and used the word in the titles a book on the history of Asian gardens. Neil MacGregor’s Radio 4 series on Living with the Gods is therefore of great interest to me. In the first episode MacGregor discusses is the Lion Man. This 40,000 year old figurine is...