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 -

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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Cardiff Castle

I hardly ever watch television but my eye was caught recently by a programme on John Patrick Creighton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, who was one of the wealthiest men of his day, but one with a social conscience and a … Continue reading

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Vertumnus and Pomona

It’s a sign of how seriously classical imagery and culture underlines western civilization that many of the characters  associated with gardens and gardening are derived directly from it.  A few like Flora and Ceres, who were major deities, are  widely  … Continue reading

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Owen Thomas 2: from Chatsworth to Windsor.

This is the second part of the story of Owen Thomas, the son of an Anglesey labourer who rose to the peak of the horticultural profession and became Queen Victoria’s gardener at Windsor and Frogmore.  Last week’s post finished with his … Continue reading

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Owen Thomas: 1: Anglesey and beyond…

Last year I wrote a post about Harry Higgott Thomas the garden writer and journalist who was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour. Whilst doing the research I discovered that his father, Owen Thomas, also gained one of the first VMHs … Continue reading

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Who gives a Fig…especially in Sussex?

We had a bit of a fight on our hands yesterday. Sophia, Dorothy, Blanche and Rose were arguing  in our courtyard.  Then they started to argue with us too.  It was a row about figs. We have a beautiful small … Continue reading

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Batty goes Gothick…

Batty  Langley was an engaging self publicist with an eye to an opening in the market coupled with a  need to make a living. Last week’s post looked at  New Principles of Gardening published in 1728, his first important book. … Continue reading

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Batty’s arti-natural Principles

The wonderfully named Batty Langley was a gardener’s son who followed in his fathers footsteps and then turned surveyor, landscape gardener, artificial stone maker, would-be architect and garden designer, as well as prolific author.  Well  he had to do something … Continue reading

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Recording Britain

War inspires artists,or rather requires artists, to produce propaganda, and many governments have used war artists to record a different take on what is going on to newscasts and documentary films.  Usually this is strident, but on other occasions much … Continue reading

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