Author Archives: Parks and Gardens UK

About Parks and Gardens UK

Parks & Gardens UK is the leading on-line resource for historic parks and gardens providing freely accessible, accurate and inspiring information on UK parks, gardens and designed landscapes. Email - Website -

Ella and Florence Du Cane & their own gardens in Essex

Last week’s post was about Ella and Florence du Cane two adventurous aristocratic young women who, in pre-war Edwardian England, wrote and illustrated garden-related travel books.   Despite their popularity before 1914,  by 1918 the story was different. There were … Continue reading

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Two Essex Girls & the exotic: Ella & Florence Du Cane

My title is a bit unfair. The Essex Girls I’m going to talk about are not those caricatured on TOWI or in popular comedy but two aristocratic young ladies from the county who not only created gardens there but also … Continue reading

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The Picturesque Traveller discovers the Lakes

Last week’s post about Anthony Devis showed how our understanding and appreciation of the landscape has changed radically over the centuries.  Until the beginning of the 18thc wilderness and untamed nature, was generally unappreciated with most art, literature and aesthetic taste … Continue reading

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Anthony Devis: Georgian topographical artist

No it’s not a repeat. It’s true there was a post about the 18thc artist  Arthur Devis a few month ago but this one is about his half-brother Anthony.  While Arthur specialised in conversation piece portraits Anthony turned to topography and became … Continue reading

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On Don and Don and Don and Don…

I know Monty may be the only Don you’ve heard of but this is not  a post about him. Instead its about some of his 18th and 19thc ancestors who were also well-known horticulturists and botanists.  The family came from the … Continue reading

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“Fresh Air & Fun”: Ada Salter and the Beautification of Bermondsey

London is a city of great surprises and has many hidden corners and almost unknown treasures. I thought I knew it fairly well but there are always surprises and I’ve just found two of them in the same patch.  Did … Continue reading

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Boys Toys and Shanks’s Ponies

Sitting on the terrace overlooking my garden a few weeks back in the heat wave I was watching the lawn go yellow and then brown, except of course for all the pesky weeds which continued to grow cheerfully and provided … Continue reading

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Coleton Fishacre: The Garden by the Sea

Imagine sailing gently along the coast of Britain and spotting a nice little steep-sided valley running down to the sea…no buildings in sight, just a few sheep and wizened wind-battered trees… deciding that would make a good place for a house… … Continue reading

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An unlikely Michaelanglo: John Buonarotti Papworth

The wonderfully named John Buonarrotti Papworth, was an architect , interior and garden designer and a near contemporary of John Claudius Loudon, Humphry Repton and Frederick Crace.  You may not have heard of him, or if you had, maybe like … Continue reading

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John Weeks: Horticultural Architect

I’m always amazed by the way that some now fashionable upmarket residential areas have a different, more working class past  often with horticultural connections. Belgravia, for example, is built on the site of the Neat Houses, once London’s largest concentration … Continue reading

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