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 - info@parksandgardens.org. Website - www.parksandgardens.org

“Doubtles God could have made a better berry…”

After last week’s post about the early history of strawberries its time to look at how the various wild species were transformed into garden and commercial varieties by an 18thc botanist and a handful of 19thc nurserymen.       … Continue reading

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Saints, Sinners, Sex and Strawberries…

Strawberries are quintessentially English. Or so you’d think. But actually they’re not. Although there are indigenous European strawberries the ones we eat are hybrids derived from a species from New England and another from Chile  introduced surreptitiously into France in … Continue reading

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Nun Appleton

Nun Appleton House is a sad place these days in every sense. The Yorkshire estate was once the home of Thomas Fairfax, the great Parliamentary general, and  also for a short while to Andrew Marvell, the poet, who acted as tutor … Continue reading

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The Strange Case of Doctor Ward…

Most readers of this blog will be familiar with the Wardian case, the method of transporting plants that transformed the world’s gardens and hothouses from the mid-19thc onwards and which were in regular use by Kew for the international transportation of … Continue reading

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Adrian Berg

We’re used to seeing paintings of gardens in an historical context and using them as evidence, but I don’t think we take as much notice of contemporary representations of gardens as perhaps we should. I was reminded of this the other day … Continue reading

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Broughton Castle

Tucked away in beautiful countryside just a couple of miles from Banbury is one of the most perfect houses in the country: Broughton Castle.  The Historic England site description does nothing to convey the surprise the visitor gets when they turn … Continue reading

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Lilac Time…

The spring has caught up with my garden and the lilacs are beginning to bloom. The first I knew was as I opened the doors into the garden the other morning and caught the scent well before I could see … Continue reading

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Kip and Knyff : Part 2 Kip

For someone whose work is so well known it’s surprising how little biographical information is recorded  about Johannes Kip,  the topographical engraver. He is  best known for Britannia Illustrata, his work with Leonard Knyff, which has illustrations of the estates of … Continue reading

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KIP & KNYFF: Part 1: Knyff

To most people “Kip & Knyff”  sounds like a bit like a Victorian music hall act, but say “Kip and Knyff” to a garden or architectural historian and they will instantly  picture a bird’s eye view of a great English … Continue reading

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Hyacinths

At this time of year my favourite smell is hyacinths. Close packed into every conceivable sort of container they made ideal presents for Christmas,  but they are still be available for sale everywhere to bring a wonderful touch of spring scent and colour whatever the … Continue reading

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