Archive | June 2012

Nostalgia for England part one


Garden Propaganda

I promise I will start talking about Southern California soon but this week I have been planning my family trip to England.  No small feat since I have almost twenty gardens on the itinerary.  So I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the three months I spent living in England in 2004 and started looking through my photos of that time.  I am not really sure what the etiquette is for posting old garden photos on a blog but I figure it can’t hurt.  I also started setting up a Flickr account for my photos and wanted to get a little experience with adding pictures to blog posts since I had some troubles the other day.

The first set is mostly to showcase how perfect Wisteria always looks in England.  It has a long bloom period because the weather is cool and they are in full bloom as the fresh new leaves…

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Nostalgia for England part two


Garden Propaganda

While I was in England I spent most of my time at Kew where I was working in the Duke’s Garden as an intern.  I wouldn’t exactly call Kew the most beautiful of gardens as far as design is concerned.  It is mostly a botanical collection of plants and any nicely designed parts depend on the staff working in that section or just luck that a grouping of fine specimens happen to be blooming near each other.  It is rather a hodge podge.

So it was nice to take some field trips and visit some other gardens.  The first was Wakehurst Place which is Kew’s country estate and a National Trust Garden.  It is also home to the Millenium Seed Bank.  As far as design goes it is the complete opposite of Kew.  The landscaped lawns and collection of trees are breathtaking.  The walled Sir Henry Price Garden is done…

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Nostalgia for England part three


Garden Propaganda

One Saturday I rented a car and drove south with some student friends to visit two of Englands most celebrated gardens.  Our first stop was Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent.  Sissinghurst was the home of writer Vita Sackville-West. I had written a paper on Vita for my history of landscape design class so I was really looking forward to seeing this garden.  She sounded like quite a character always running around having affairs with both men and women.

Another interesting character was Christopher Lloyd whose garden is Great Dixter.  When I first started gardening his books were some of my favorites because he was so opinionated.  If a plant sucked he wasn’t afraid to say so and he loved bold color combinations that more genteel designers stayed away from.  He passed away in 2006 so I feel very fortunate that I got to meet him while I was shopping in…

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Nostalgia for England part four


Garden Propaganda

This is the finale for this series.  A few more shots of gardens I visited followed by a few flower shots from 2004. I promise the next time I post about England it will be at the end of May when I am there again and the photos will all be current.

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Royal Flower Show


BRILLIANT LONDON

Established in 1913, on the grounds of the Chelsea Royal Hospital in London, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is Britain’s most prestigious flower show.  The show organized by The Royal Horticulture Society has become one of the most celebrated annual events in the world and the showcase for horticultural excellence. The show covers 11 acres of ground and features over 500 exhibitors including show gardens, nurseries, floristry, educational displays and trade stands. The event also provides a showcase for gardening trends, and show gardens over the years have ranged from Japanese and topiary gardens to rock gardens, cottage gardens, and contemporary sculptural gardens. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are traditionally among the first to see the exhibits when they take a private tour every year on opening day.

  • RHS Chelsea Flower Show
  • Royal Hospital Chelsea, London  SW3 4SL
  • http://www.rhs.org.uk
  • Underground: Sloane Square

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