Isabella Garden, Richmond Park, London, UK
The Isabella Plantation is a 40 acre woodland garden set within a Victorian woodland plantation planted in the 1830's. First opened to the public in 1953, it is best known for its evergreen azaleas, which line the ponds and streams and at their peak of flower in late April and early May.
Located in the gardens are the National Collection of Wilson 50 Kurume Azaelas (introduced to the west from Japan in the 1920's by the plant collector Ernest Wilson), large collections of Rhododendrons and Camellias, plus many other rare and unusual trees and shrubs which provide interest all year round.
Part of the parklands conservation designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the site is managed very much with nature in mind and the gardens are run on organic principles. Native plants commonly grow alongside exotics throughout the Plantation. Perimeter and shelterbelt areas are planted with native nectar and berry bearing trees and shrubs to provide food and shelter for birds, bats and insects. The Plantation's ponds and stream provide additional habitat for invertebrates and amphibians.
Over the past few years, Isabella Plantation has received significant investment from the Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery funds to improve biodiversity and increase access.
The Terrace and Buccleuch Gardens Richmond London are formally listed in the English Heritage Parks Register because of their historic heritage value. Terrace Gardens, located close to Richmond town centre, was originally formed from three separate eighteenth century estates and was opened as a public park in 1887. Between 2007 and 2009 The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames invested £1m in the refurbishment of the Gardens.
The opening ceremony for the gardens was attended by the Earl of Wessex and the gardens formerly opened after restoration on 9 July 2009.
Kew Gardens, Richmond, London, UK
Kew Gardens is the world's largest collection of living plants. Founded in 1840 from the exotic garden at Kew Park in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, UK, its living collections include more than 30,000 different kinds of plants, while the herbarium, which is one of the largest in the world, has over seven million preserved plant specimens. The library contains more than 750,000 volumes, and the illustrations collection contains more than 175,000 prints and drawings of plants. It is one of London's top tourist attractions. In 2003, the gardens were put on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Kew Gardens, together with the botanic gardens at Wakehurst Place in Sussex, are managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (brand name Kew), an internationally important botanical research and education institution that employs 750 staff, and is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The Kew site, which has been dated as formally starting in 1759, though can be traced back to the exotic garden at Kew Park, formed by Lord Capel John of Tewkesbury, consists of 121 hectares (300 acres) of gardens and botanical glasshouses, four Grade I listed buildings and 36 Grade II listed structures, all set in an internationally significant landscape. Kew Gardens has its own police force, Kew Constabulary, which has been in operation since 1847.
Kew, the area in which Kew Gardens are situated, consists mainly of the gardens themselves and a small surrounding community. Royal residences in the area which would later influence the layout and construction of the gardens began in 1299 when Edward I moved his court to a manor house in neighbouring Richmond (then called Sheen). That manor house was later abandoned; however, Henry V built Sheen Palace in 1501, which, under the name Richmond Palace, became a permanent royal residence for Henry VII. Around the start of the 16th century courtiers attending Richmond Palace settled in Kew and built large houses. Early royal residences at Kew included Mary Tudor's house, which was in existence by 1522 when a driveway was built to connect it to the palace at Richmond. Around 1600, the land that would become the gardens was known as Kew Field, a large field strip farmed by one of the new private estates.
The exotic garden at Kew Park, formed by Lord Capel John of Tewkesbury, was enlarged and extended by Augusta, Dowager Princess of Wales, the widow of Frederick, Prince of Wales. The origins of Kew Gardens can be traced to the merging of the royal estates of Richmond and Kew in 1722. William Chambers built several garden structures, including the lofty Chinese pagoda built in 1761 which still remains. George III enriched the gardens, aided by William Aiton and Sir Joseph Banks. The old Kew Park (by then renamed the White House), was demolished in 1802. The "Dutch House" adjoining was purchased by George III in 1781 as a nursery for the royal children. It is a plain brick structure now known as Kew Palace.
Some early plants came from the walled garden established by William Coys at Stubbers in North Ockendon. The collections grew somewhat haphazardly until the appointment of the first collector, Francis Masson, in 1771. Capability Brown, who became England's most renowned landscape architect, applied for the position of master gardener at Kew, and was rejected.
In 1840 the gardens were adopted as a national botanical garden, in large part due to the efforts of the Royal Horticultural Society and its president William Cavendish. Under Kew's director, William Hooker, the gardens were increased to 30 hectares (75 acres) and the pleasure grounds, or arboretum, extended to 109 hectares (270 acres), and later to its present size of 121 hectares (300 acres). The first curator was John Smith.
The Palm House was built by architect Decimus Burton and iron-maker Richard Turner between 1844 and 1848, and was the first large-scale structural use of wrought iron. It is considered " the world's most important surviving Victorian glass and iron structure." The structure's panes of glass are all hand-blown. The Temperate House, which is twice as large as the Palm House, followed later in the 19th century. It is now the largest Victorian glasshouse in existence. Kew was the location of the successful effort in the 19th century to propagate rubber trees for cultivation outside South America.
In February 1913, the Tea House was burned down by suffragettes Olive Wharry and Lilian Lenton during a series of arson attacks in London. Kew Gardens lost hundreds of trees in the Great Storm of 1987. From 1959 to 2007 Kew Gardens had the tallest flagpole in Britain. Made from a single Douglas-fir from Canada, it was given to mark both the centenary of the Canadian Province of British Columbia and the bicentenary of Kew Gardens. The flagpole was removed after damage by weather and woodpeckers.
In July 2003, the gardens were put on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
A new treetop walkway opened in 2008. This walkway is 18 metres (59 ft) high and 200 metres (660 ft) long and takes visitors into the tree canopy of a woodland glade. Visitors can ascend and descend by stairs or by a lift. The floor of the walkway is made from perforated metal and flexes as it is walked upon. The entire structure sways in the wind.
The Sackler Crossing
The Sackler Crossing bridge, made of granite and bronze, opened in May 2006. Designed by Buro Happold and John Pawson, it crosses the lake and is named in honour of philanthropists Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler.
The minimalist-styled bridge is designed as a sweeping double curve of black granite. The sides of the bridge are formed of bronze posts that give the impression, from certain angles, of forming a solid wall whereas from others, and to those on the bridge, they are clearly individual entities that allow a view of the water beyond.
The bridge forms part of a path designed to encourage visitors to visit more of the gardens than had hitherto been popular and connects the two art galleries, via the Temperate and Evolution Houses and the woodland glade, to the Minka House and the Bamboo Garden.
Kew Explorer is a service that takes a circular route around the gardens, provided by two 72-seater road trains that are fuelled by Calor Gas to minimise pollution. A commentary is provided by the driver and there are several stops.
Kew has one of the largest compost heaps in Europe, made from green waste from the gardens and the waste from the stables of the Household Cavalry. The compost is mainly used in the gardens, but on occasion has been auctioned as part of a fundraising event for the gardens.
The Davies Alpine House
In March 2006, the Davies Alpine House opened, the third version of an alpine house since 1887. Although only 16 metres long the apex of the roof arch extends to a height of 10 metres in order to allow the natural airflow of a building of this shape to aid in the all-important ventilation required for the type of plants to be housed.
The new house features a set of automatically operated blinds that prevent it overheating when the sun is too hot for the plants together with a system that blows a continuous stream of cool air over the plants. The main design aim of the house is to allow maximum light transmission. To this end the glass is of a special low iron type that allows 90 per cent of the ultraviolet light in sunlight to pass. It is attached by high tension steel cables so that no light is obstructed by traditional glazing bars.
To conserve energy the cooling air is not refrigerated but is cooled by being passed through a labyrinth of pipes buried under the house at a depth where the temperature remains suitable all year round. The house is designed so that the maximum temperature should not exceed 20 °C (68 °F).
Kew's collection of Alpine plants (defined as those that grow above the tree-line in their locale – ground level at the poles rising to over 2,000 metres (6,562 feet)), extends to over 7000. As the Alpine House can only house around 200 at a time the ones on show are regularly rotated.
The Nash Conservatory
Originally designed for Buckingham Palace, this was moved to Kew in 1836 by King William IV. With an abundance of natural light, the building is used various exhibitions, weddings, and private events. It is also now used to exhibit the winners of the photography completion.
The Orangery was designed by Sir William Chambers, and was completed in 1761. It measures 28 m x 10 m. After many changes of use, it is currently used as a restaurant.
The Palm House (1844–1848) was the result of cooperation between architect Decimus Burton and iron founder Richard Turner, and continues upon the glass house design principles developed by John Claudius Loudon[ and Joseph Paxton] A space frame of wrought iron arches, held together by horizontal tubular structures containing long prestressed cables, supports glass panes which were originally tinted green with copper oxide to reduce the significant heating effect. The 19m high central nave is surrounded by a walkway at 9m height, allowing visitors a closer look upon the palm tree crowns. In front of the Palm House on the east side are the Queen's Beasts, ten statues of animals bearing shields. They are Portland stone replicas of originals done by James Woodford and were placed here in 1958.]
Princess of Wales Conservatory Kew's third major conservatory, the Princess of Wales Conservatory, designed by architect Gordon Wilson, was opened in 1987 by Diana, Princess of Wales in commemoration of her predecessor Augusta's associations with Kew. In 1989 the conservatory received the Europa Nostra award for conservation. The conservatory houses ten computer-controlled micro-climatic zones, with the bulk of the greenhouse volume composed of Dry Tropics and Wet Tropics plants. Significant numbers of orchids, water lilies, cacti, lithops, carnivorous plants and bromeliads are housed in the various zones. The cactus collection also extends outside the conservatory where some hardier species can be found.
The conservatory has an area of 4499 square metres. As it is designed to minimise the amount of energy taken to run it, the cooler zones are grouped around the outside and the more tropical zones are in the central area where heat is conserved. The glass roof extends down to the ground, giving the conservatory a distinctive appearance and helping to maximise the use of the sun's energy.
During the construction of the conservatory a time capsule was buried. It contains the seeds of basic crops and endangered plant species and key publications on conservation.
A rhizotron opened at the same time as the "treetop walkway", giving visitors the opportunity to investigate what happens beneath the ground where trees grow. The rhizotron is essentially a single gallery containing a set of large bronze abstract castings which contain LCD screens that carry repeating loops of information about the life of trees.
The Temperate House, currently closed for restoration, is a greenhouse that has twice the floor area of the Palm House and is the world's largest surviving Victorian glass structure. When in use it contained plants and trees from all the temperate regions of the world. It was commissioned in 1859 and designed by architect Decimus Burton and ironfounder Richard Turner. Covering 4880 square metres, it rises to a height of 19 metres. Intended to accommodate Kew's expanding collection of hardy and temperate plants, it took 40 years to construct, during which time costs soared.
There is a viewing gallery in the central section from which visitors were able to look down on that part of the collection.
The Waterlily House
The Waterlily House is the hottest and most humid of the houses at Kew and contains a large pond with varieties of water lily, surrounded by a display of economically important heat-loving plants. It closes during the winter months.
It was built to house the Victoria amazonica, the largest of the Nymphaeaceae family of water lilies. This plant was originally transported to Kew in phials of clean water and arrived in February 1849, after several prior attempts to transport seeds and roots had failed. Although various other members of the Nymphaeaceae family grew well, the house did not suit the Victoria, purportedly because of a poor ventilation system, and this specimen was moved to another, smaller, house.
The ironwork for this project was provided by Richard Turner and the initial construction was completed in 1852. The heat for the house was initially obtained by running a flue from the nearby Palm House but it was later equipped with its own boiler
In the south-east corner of Kew Gardens stands the Great Pagoda (by Sir William Chambers), erected in 1762, from a design in imitation of the Chinese Ta. The lowest of the ten octagonal storeys is 49 feet (15 m) in diameter. From the base to the highest point is 163 feet (50 m).
Each storey finishes with a projecting roof, after the Chinese manner, originally covered with ceramic tiles and adorned with large dragons; a story is still propagated that they were made of gold and were reputedly sold by George IV to settle his debts.In fact the dragons were made of wood painted gold, and simply rotted away with the ravages of time. The walls of the building are composed of brick. The staircase, 253 steps, is in the centre of the building. The Pagoda was closed to the public for many years, but was reopened for the summer months of 2006 and is now open permanently. During the Second World War holes were cut in each floor to allow for drop-testing of model bombs.
The Japanese Gateway (Chokushi-Mon)
Built for the Japan-British Exhibition (1910) and moved to Kew in 1911, the Chokushi-Mon ("Imperial Envoy's Gateway") is a four-fifths scale replica of the karamon (gateway) of the Nishi Hongan-ji temple in Kyoto. It lies about 140 m west of the Pagoda and is surrounded by a reconstruction of a traditional Japanese garden.
The Minka House
Following the Japan 2001 festival Kew acquired a Japanese wooden house called a minka. It was originally erected in around 1900 in a suburb of Okazaki. Japanese craftsmen reassembled the framework and British builders who had worked on the Globe Theatre added the mud wall panels.
Work on the house started on 7 May 2001 and, when the framework was completed on 21 May, a Japanese ceremony was held to mark what was considered an auspicious occasion. Work on the building of the house was completed in November 2001 but the internal artefacts were not all in place until 2006.
The Minka house is located within the bamboo collection in the west central part of the gardens.
Queen Charlotte's Cottage
Within the conservation area is a cottage that was given to Queen Charlotte as a wedding present on her marriage to George III. It has been restored by Historic Royal Palaces and is separately administered by them.
The Palace at Kew, with the sundial in the foreground
Kew Palace is the smallest of the British royal palaces. It was built by Samuel Fortrey, a Dutch merchant in around 1631. It was later purchased by George III. The construction method is known as Flemish bond and involves laying the bricks with long and short sides alternating. This and the gabled front give the construction a Dutch appearance.
To the rear of the building is the "Queen's Garden" which includes a collection of plants believed to have medicinal qualities. Only plants that were extant in England by the 17th century are grown in the garden.
The building underwent significant restoration before being reopened to the public in 2006. It is administered separately from Kew Gardens, by Historic Royal Palaces. In front of the palace is a sundial, which was given to Kew Gardens in 1959 to commemorate a royal visit. It was sculpted by Martin Holden and is based on an earlier sculpture by Thomas Tompion, a celebrated 17th century clockmaker.
The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanic Art
The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanic Art opened in April 2008, and holds paintings from Kew's and Dr Shirley Sherwood's collections, many of which had never been displayed to the public before. It features paintings by artists such as Georg D. Ehret, the Bauer brothers, Pierre-Joseph Redouté and Walter Hood Fitch. The paintings and drawings are cycled on a six-monthly basis. The gallery is linked to the Marianne North Gallery (see above).
Near the Palm House is a building known as "Museum No. 1" (even though it is the only museum on the site), which was designed by Decimus Burton and opened in 1857. Housing Kew's economic botany collections including tools, ornaments, clothing, food and medicines, its aim was to illustrate human dependence on plants. The building was refurbished in 1998. The upper two floors are now an education centre and the ground floor houses the "Plants+People" exhibition which highlights the variety of plants and the ways that people use them.
Admission to the galleries and museum is free after paying admission to the gardens. The International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition is an annual event with an indoor display of entries during the summer months.
The Marianne North Gallery of Botanic Art
The Marianne North Gallery was built in the 1880s to house the paintings of Marianne North, an MP's daughter who travelled alone to North and South America, South Africa and many parts of Asia, at a time when women rarely did so, to paint plants. The gallery has 832 of her paintings. The paintings were left to Kew by the artist and a condition of the bequest is that the layout of the paintings in the gallery may not be altered.
The gallery had suffered considerable structural degradation since its creation and during a period from 2008 to 2009 major restoration and refurbishment took place. During the time the gallery was closed the opportunity was also taken to restore the paintings to their original condition. The gallery reopened in October 2009.
The gallery originally opened in 1882 and is the only permanent exhibition in Great Britain dedicated to the work of one woman.
Part of the "Tropical Extravaganza" for Kew's 250th anniversary in 2009 The plant collections include the Aquatic Garden, which is near the Jodrell laboratory. The Aquatic Garden, which celebrated its centenary in 2009, provides conditions for aquatic and marginal plants. The large central pool holds a selection of summer-flowering water lilies and the corner pools contain plants such as reed mace, bulrushes, phragmites and smaller floating aquatic species.
The Arboretum, which covers over half of the total area of the site, contains over 14,000 trees of many thousands of varieties. The Bonsai Collection is housed in a dedicated greenhouse near the Jodrell laboratory. The Cacti Collection is housed in and around the Princess of Wales Conservatory. The Carnivorous Plant collection is housed in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. The Grass Garden was created on its current site in the early 1980s to display ornamental and economic grasses; it was redesigned and replanted between 1994 and 1997. It is currently undergoing a further redesign and planting. Over 580 species of grasses are displayed.
The Herbaceous Grounds (Order Beds) were devised in the late 1860s by Sir Joseph Hooker, then director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, so that botany students could learn to recognise plants and experience at first hand the diversity of the plant kingdom. The collection is organised into family groups. Its name arose because plant families were known as natural orders in the 19th century. Over the main path is a rose pergola built in 1959 to mark the bicentennial of the Gardens. It supports climber and rambling roses selected for the length and profusion of flowering.
The Orchid Collection is housed in two climate zones within the Princess of Wales Conservatory. To maintain an interesting display the plants are changed regularly so that those on view are generally flowering. The Rock Garden, originally built of limestone in 1882, is now constructed of Sussex sandstone from West Hoathly, Sussex. The rock garden is divided into six geographic regions: Europe, Mediterranean and Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, North America, and South America. There are currently 2,480 different "accessions" growing in the garden.
The Rose Garden, based upon original designs by William Nesfield, is behind the Palm House, and was replanted between 2009 and 2010 using the original design from 1848. It is intended as an ornamental display rather than a collection of a particularly large number of varieties. Other collections and specialist areas include the rhododendron dell, the azalea garden, the bamboo garden, the juniper collection, the berberis dell, the lilac garden, the magnolia collection, and the fern collection.
The Palm House and lake to Victoria Gate
The world's smallest water-lily, Nymphaea thermarum, was saved from extinction when it was grown from seed at Kew, in 2009
The Kew herbarium is one of the largest in the world with approximately 7 million specimens used primarily for taxonomic study. The herbarium is rich in types for all regions of the world, especially the tropics.
The library and archives at Kew are one of the world's largest botanical collections, with over half a million items, including books, botanical illustrations, photographs, letters and manuscripts, periodicals, and maps. The Jodrell Library has been merged with the Economic Botany and Mycology Libraries and all are now housed in the Jodrell Laboratory.
Kew provides advice and guidance to police forces around the world where plant material may provide important clues or evidence in cases. In one famous case the forensic science department at Kew were able to ascertain that the contents of the stomach of a headless corpse found in the river Thames contained a highly toxic African bean.
Castle Howard York has extensive and diverse gardens. There is a large formal garden immediately behind the house. The house is prominently situated on a ridge and this was exploited to create an English landscape park, which opens out from the formal garden and merges with the park.
Two major garden buildings are set into this landscape: the Temple of the Four Winds at the end of the garden, and the Mausoleum in the park. There is also a lake on either side of the house. There is an arboretum called Ray Wood, and the walled garden contains decorative rose and flower gardens. Further buildings outside the preserved gardens include the ruined Pyramid currently undergoing restoration, an Obelisk and several follies and eyecatchers in the form of fortifications. A John Vanbrugh ornamental pillar known as the Quatre Faces (marked as 'Four Faces' on Ordnance Survey Maps) stands in nearby Pretty Wood..
There is also a separate 127 acre (514,000 m²) arboretum called Kew at Castle Howard, which is close to the house and garden, but has separate entrance arrangements. Planting began in 1975, with the intention of creating one of the most important collections of specimen trees in the United Kingdom. The landscape is more open than that of Ray Wood, and the planting remains immature. It is now a joint venture between Castle Howard and Kew Gardens and is managed by a charity called the Castle Howard Arboretum Trust, which was established in 1997. It was opened to the public for the first time in 1999. A new visitor centre opened in 2006.
The grounds of Castle Howard are also used as part of at least two charity running races during the year.
Thorp Perrow Arboretum, Yorkshire, UK
This is a walled garden in the middle of the town, and thus remarkably sheltered. Since starting work in the garden in 1980, the owners' aim has been to create structure, bulk, year-round interest and a sense of profusion. They have achieved this by redesigning the garden to suggest that it is much larger than it really is, and by planting only the best plants of every type. The most prominent are roses, clematis, hostas, snowdrops, hellebores, ferns and foliage shrubs. The garden continues to improve: Professor David Stevens calls it 'a sophisticated study in both the manipulation of spatial concepts and [in] planting design'. It is immensely stylish and closely planted, a model for all town gardens. Only one caveat - it is so dense that your trousers will get soaked by brushing against plants in wet weather. B & B available in the house. The garden has been selected by Alan Titchmarsh for his 2015 ITV series 'Britain's Finest Gardens', and was selected out of 600 for his top 30 choice.
Thorp Perrow Arboretum is one of the finest private collections of trees and shrubs in the country. This 85 acre arboretum is unique to Britain, if not Europe, in that it was the creation of one man, Colonel Sir Leonard Ropner (1895 - 1977) and is now owned and managed by Sir John Ropner.
Situated in the Yorkshire Dales, not far from the historic town of Bedale, Thorp Perrow is an exciting place to explore offering something for everyone, and is home to some of the largest and rarest trees and shrubs in England. There are tree trails, a nature trail and a children's trail, a large lake, picnic area and children's play area. The Arboretum also embraces the Milbank Pinetum planted by Lady Augusta Milbank in the mid-nineteenth century, and the medieval Spring Wood dates back to the 16th century.
Thorp Perrow provides interest all the year round. In the spring you can witness one of the finest and most extensive plantings of daffodils in the north of England, including some old and unusual varieties. This is followed by many of the trees covered in blossom, carpets of bluebells and bold drifts of wild flowers. Midsummer brings evenings theatre events, children's trail throughout August and newly planted hydrangeas will be in their full glory. Later in the year the autumn provides stunning colours. The grass paths through the Arboretum are mown regularly, but other areas are mown once a year to provide an ideal habitat for the many wild flowers, fungi and insects that you can see.
History of Thorpe Perrow
The Thorp Perrow Estate was bought by my grandfather, William Ropner, in 1927. Born in 1864, he was the third eldest of ten children. His father, Sir Robert Ropner (1838 - 1924), had come over from Germany in 1857 and founded the well known fleet of merchant ships that carried the family House Flag for over 100 years.
My father, Sir Leonard, was 32 years old when the estate was bought and it was very soon afterwards that the planning and planting of the Arboretum began. I have no idea where this great love for trees came from - I often joke that I wish he had collected French impressionist pictures! But no such luck.
I think that one of the nicest things about Thorp Perrow Arboretum is its slightly 'amateurish' atmosphere. It was after all designed and cared for by a man with no previous arboricultural experience - and this I may say remains the case today!
Cherry Grove 1938 Cherry Grove 2008 The Arboretum was my father's 'Secret Garden' - he was extremely proud of it but towards the end of his life it had become sadly neglected. Upon his death in 1977 I was faced with the problem of what to do with these 85 acres. I asked Alan Mitchell, (the famous dendrologist), to come and advise, and when he re-emerged from the jungle he said in no uncertain terms that the collection should be preserved at all costs. Financial help was required and we were fortunate to get a grant from the Ministry of the Environment - on the condition (quite rightly!) that the Arboretum should be open to the public. The rest, as they say, is history. Much sweat and toil with invaluable advice from several Curators has produced what you will find today.
The Arboretum is laid out in Sections, and identified as Section A to Section Z, plus Milbank Pinetum, and Spring Wood. Each Section inter-connects with its neighbour via paths, grass walks, glades, bays, or avenues. A walk around the Arboretum can be a journey of plant discovery that takes you around the continents of the world; with many of the tree and shrub genera and species planted having origins in China, Japan, North America, Chile, and Europe.
The Arboretum currently is home to five 'National Plant Collections' ® held under the auspices of the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens ( NCCPG ).
Millgate House, Richmond, North Yorkshire, UK
This is a walled garden in the middle of the town, and thus remarkably sheltered. Since starting work in the garden in 1980, the owners' aim has been to create structure, bulk, year-round interest and a sense of profusion. They have achieved this by redesigning the garden to suggest that it is much larger than it really is, and by planting only the best plants of every type. The most prominent are roses, clematis, hostas, snowdrops, hellebores, ferns and foliage shrubs. The garden continues to improve: Professor David Stevens calls it 'a sophisticated study in both the manipulation of spatial concepts and [in] planting design'. It is immensely stylish and closely planted, a model for all town gardens. Only one caveat - it is so dense that your trousers will get soaked by brushing against plants in wet weather. B & B available in the house. The garden has been selected by Alan Titchmarsh for his 2015 ITV series 'Britain's Finest Gardens', and was selected out of 600 for his top 30 choice. WHEN ALAN CAME TO FILM IN AUGUST RICHMOND live wason so he had to cancle dys shoot but would enjoy concery
Barningham Park was first mentioned in the Doomsday Book 1085. A mediaeval fortified house, similar to nearly Scargill Castle, was extended in c. 1650 to include a formal facade and garden. The house and surrounding land was purchased by the Milbank family in c. 1690. They built a coach house, stables, added Venetian architectural features and an additional floor c. 1750 giving it a Georgian aesthetic feel. Victorian domestic wings were added later. Barningham Park is now set in an extensive late 18th Century landscape. The majestic gardens with its terraces and rock garden containing water cascades and pools, is surrounded by woodland, an Icehouse and Victorian stone pathways, surrounded by a deer park and wall.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, Virginia, USA
The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 50 acres (200,000 m2), is a botanical garden located at 1800 Lakeside Avenue, on the North Side of Richmond, Virginia. It includes the Lakeside Wheel Club built by Lewis Ginter and expanded and remodeled into Bloemendaal by his niece Grace Arents.
The Garden’s three-fold mission is (to provide education to the community about the plant world, (2) promote the best in horticulture and landscape design and (3) work toward the goal of being a leader in botanical and applied horticultural research.
The gently rolling terrain that is the site of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was once the hunting ground of Powhatan Indians. Known to the Powhatan as "Oughnum" this name underwent a number of modifications beginning in 1690, when Nathaniel Bacon, president of the Council of Virginia, granted James Moore of New Kent County a patent for 573 acres (2.32 km2) on "Uffnum Brook."
A prominent Quaker named John Pleasants was the new owner, followed by Thomas Williamson, who purchased the tract for less than 50 pounds in 1716; over the next 89 years ownership of the land remained, for the most part, in the Williamson family. Violence erupted in 1781 when Samuel Williamson’s home was pillaged by General Benedict Arnold’s Revolutionary War raid on Richmond. A dwelling, Oak Cottage, was built during this time, and a portion of the Williamson land along with this cottage was purchased by Virginia Governor Patrick Henry.in 1786. An outdoorsman, the liberty lover fished and hunted on the land, much as the earlier Native American inhabitants had done. He sold the parcel to James Thompson in 1788.
The Williamson ownership of the remaining property came to an end in 1805 when the tract, now called Ufton, was sold to John Robinson, a prominent lawyer. Robinson owned the land for 23 years and planted groves of trees and a peach orchard on the property, signaling the beginning of its destiny as a spot of horticultural significance. His brother, Anthony, indulged a comparable passion for plants at his home, Poplar Vale, now Byrd Park. The property, described as "healthy, well-watered, in a good neighborhood" was sold at auction in 1828, and over the next fifty-odd years its owners were successively, Newton Hill, James Hill, Jr., Nathaniel King and Mildred King Ladd.
On Mildred Ladd’s death, Ufton was divided among her heirs, and it was from one of these in 1884 that Major Lewis Ginter purchased the 10 acres (40,000 m2) which were to become the Lakeside Wheel Club, Bloemendaal Farm and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. The millionaire’s avid interest in planned, landscaped suburban development began during a visit to his company’s Australian office in 1888. The attractive residential developments in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne prompted Major Ginter’s desire to create the same settings in Richmond.
Flower Forest Botanical Gardens, Richmond Hill, Barbados
The Flower Forest Botanical Gardens in Barbados are located centrally in the heart of St Joseph. This 53 acre attraction offers an explosion 7 acre of wild gardens and greenery with commanding vistas of the island's stunning Scotland District 750 ft above sea level.
The owners aptly consider this attraction "a cross between a botanical garden and a nature trail", since you can take an hour or a day to leisurely stroll the Forests winding paths, while eyeing a virtual wonderland of tropical flora. The paths are all amusingly named, and while you will never get lost, you might get confused as there are several short and long cuts coming off the main paths. Not to worry, as there is no time limit and no fixed way to travel through this forestland.
Richmond Vale Academy, Grenadines, Caribbean
The Academy was built in the 80's as a Vocational School for Vincentians and an experimental school for Danish youth with special needs. From the mid 80's the school activities ceased and the farm was developed. In the beginning of 2000 first attempts to re-start the Academy was done, and the Academy has been in full operation since 2007. In 2012, the Academy partnered with One World University to offer students the possibility to take a university certificate.
In the 1970's a group of 8 teachers and a handful of students from Denmark set out to learn about the greater world through personal exploration which started a movement called The Traveling Folk High School for decades to come. Every mode of transportation was tried-- driving old busses across Europe, Asia and India; sailing around Europe, hiking across South America, riding motorbikes around the United States even maneuvering dog sleds across the ice-covered plains of Greenland.
Long before the days of the internet, this group of pioneers sent thousands of students to over 140 countries to learn about the condition of the world, experience other cultures and immerse themselves in learning from deep experience not found in textbooks.
The results were astounding. This unique school (officially started in 1970) not only understood that in a world of many different cultures, beliefs and societies, at the base level, all human beings sought the same things: peace, health, safety, family and opportunity. In short, that all human beings are the same although some were born into extreme poverty.
The global poverty condition, the fact that billions of people were starving, had little access to education, sanitation, health and economic opportunity quickly drove the students and staff to change from a school of understanding the world to changing the world.
They started small: packing warm coats for the cold in Turkey, sending vitamins to children in India and distributing seeds to the rural farmers in Bolivia. Eventually students and staff began to stay for one to two month periods to offer assistance to the poor. Over the decades the school became one of understanding the conditions of the world that lead to global poverty and creating development and service work to help eradicate this condition world-wide.
Today, schools around the globe train development workers in 6, 9 and 18-month programs to serve the poor in partnership with global development leader Humana People to People. With over $80 million dollars each year, 360 development projects and scores of humanitarian, government and corporate partnerships, this small school has become one of the most influential movements on the planet to eradicate poverty.
Schloss, Richmond Palace, Germany
The park was created along with the castle in 1768, in the style of a classic English landscape garden. Together with the Wörlitzer Park, it is one of the earliest landscape gardens in northern Germany.
The park was designed by the renowned English landscape architect Lancelot "Capability" Brown and is similar in structure and details to Richmond Park, a royal park in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. A special feature of the park are the long lines of sight that extend far into the country from the castle. Brown's intention was possibly to create a peaceful, picturesque, ideal representation of a landscape painting.
Over the years, the original design was modified and adapted to the tastes of the respective era. From 1830, Duke Wilhelm employed the court gardener Johann Christian Burmester to expand the park significantly. Between 1833 and 1838, more buildings were added – the Ducal Villa and Williams Castle (which no longer exists). In addition, larger water areas and an island were created.
The park has been open to the public since 1964. The nearly four-acre park, largely neglected after the end of the Second World War, was reconstructed in 1987 after the historic original design.
Aske Hall, Richmond, North Yorkshire, UK
Aske Hall is a Georgian country house, with parkland attributed to Capability Brown, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north of Richmond, North Yorkshire, England. It contains an impressive collection of 18th-century furniture, paintings and porcelain, and in its grounds a John Carr stable block converted into a chapel in Victorian times with Italianate decor, a Gothic-style folly built by Daniel Garrett circa 1745, coach house with carriage, Victorian stable block, walled garden, terraced garden and lake with a Roman-style temple. The hall and estate are currently owned by the Marquess of Zetland
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is the largest flower show in the world. The Show is held in early July, and run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) at Hampton Court Palace in southwest London. The show features show gardens, floral marquees and pavilions, talks and demonstrations. Erected on the north and south sides of the Long Water in Hampton Court Park, it is the second major national show after the Chelsea Flower Show but has a different character, focusing more on environmental issues, growing your own food and vegetables and cookery, while also offering opportunities to buy gardening accessories, plants and flowers.
The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show was the brainchild of the management consultant Adrian Boyd, who saw an opportunity to connect two organisations facing times of uncertainty in a joint venture. The Department of the Environment had been dismembered in the 1980s, and one of the cuttings was Historic Royal Palaces, which found itself looking for ways of increasing revenue and attracting a larger audience. Similarly, Network Southeast, one of the temporary aggregations thrown up by the pre-privatisation of British Rail, was looking for ways of making its rail services more profitable. Boyd's idea was that Network Southeast should sponsor a flower show at Hampton Court, and provide the public transport to Hampton Court railway station. At the time the RHS Shows Department was working on four new events for 1993, in Birmingham, Harrogate, Wembley, and Glasgow.
In July 1990 the first Hampton Court Palace Flower Show was held. An effort was made to attract people to the show with special trains being laid from Waterloo Station, and porters wore carnations in their hats to create a buzz around the show. Even though there was comparatively little trade support for the show, it drew in large crowds. Network Southeast was pleased, saying "70 per cent of the estimated 300,000 visitors used rail and that has paid for our sponsorship many times over".
The RHS debated whether to offer to help with the show, especially when Chelsea reached full capacity. The organisers, after initial dismissal, indicated that they would welcome an RHS involvement from 1992, and RHS members were granted a reduced admission price at the 1991 show. Adrian Greenoak, the Show’s horticultural director, achieved a continuous improvement in the standards; the 1991 Show introduced a British Rose Festival, with the joint involvement of the Royal National Rose Society and the British Rose Growers’ Association.
In November 1992 came the announcement that Network Southeast was withdrawing its support for the show. A flurry of negotiations took place: Boyd, having no title to the Show, had to join in competitive tendering by blind bid. Stephen Bennett outlined the benefits of RHS involvement: ‘We can reduce the costs hugely… Apart from saving publicity costs with our extensive media relations network, we have a colossal amount of equipment. We have around £1m worth of tentage and tons and tons of staging equipment. Try to hire that sort of stuff and it costs and arm and a leg.’ Historic Royal Palaces accepted the RHS bid on condition that it undertook to keep certain staff on the payroll, including Adrian Greenoak. The venture was a risky one, with four new shows already booked for 1993.
The RHS years – 1993 to present
The first RHS Hampton Court Show took place in 1993, with additional sponsorship from the Daily Mail. The Show was a considerable success, and the following year was declared to be the best outdoor public event of 1994. With a 25 acre (10 hectare) show ground, there was room for considerable expansion before the infrastructure would be severely tested, and over the next few years a Heritage Marquee was set up for the NCCPG and its national collections – initially a rather quiet area, but increasing steadily in public interest; crafts pavilions, which under Adrian Boyd were the first sight to greet the visitor, were gradually moved to a less prominent position; there was room for a couple of dozen display gardens, plus a separate section, on the other side of the Long Water from the major part of the exhibition, for ten water gardens. In 1998 a Hampton Court garden was rebuilt at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability. While Chelsea remained the most prestigious of the Society’s shows, Hampton Court was the largest, and readily marketed as such. Within a couple of years the investment in Hampton Court had been more than recouped.
Highlights for the 2011 Show included 'The World Vision' garden by FlemonsWarLandDesign which focused on children's vision in poorer countries. Conceptual garden 'Land Obscured' by Dan Lobb invited visitors to the underground garden to view it through a periscope to see it from a new perspective.
Blooming Brilliant: Harrogate Flower Show near Richmond, Yorkshire, UK
The Harrogate Flower Show is a twice yearly event where exhibitors show the very best in local horticulture, from fabulous flowers in a multitudinous array of colours to intriguing and enormous vegetables.
These shows are regarded by many as two of the most prestigious independent gardening events, one held in spring and one in autumn. The events are staged at the Great Yorkshire Showground and they bring the green-fingered from far and wide.
The Spring Flower Show
At the Spring Flower Show the Great Yorkshire Showground comes alive with colour, as a plethora of exhibitors display their fantastic creations for the thousands of visitors this event draws in.
As well as bouquets, baskets and planters at the Spring Flower Show you can visit an array of carefully designed gardens, pristinely landscaped and featuring excruciatingly chosen blooms, bushes, trees and shrubs. Professional landscape designers are judged against each other and now there are also categories for community or college displays, giving the chance for more local people to show what they are capable of when it comes to creating beautiful outdoor spaces.
A ‘landscaping live’ exhibition is also part of the spring show, which has been called Britain’s best gardening event by Which? Gardening. It is evidently worth a visit when spring comes around.
Autumn is also a great season for gardening as harvest arrives and this time of year is celebrated by Harrogate’s other horticultural event, the Autumn Flower Show.
Despite this being a time when the temperature is dropping and the first golden leaves are falling from the deciduous trees, there is still plenty of vibrant plant-life. The autumn show exhibits show gardens just like in spring, plus plant nursery displays, floral art, horticultural displays of special educational or scientific interest, plus some huge vegetables!
The giant vegetables are a big draw to this event, and you can expect to come face to face with humungous marrows, gigantic cabbages, weighty potatoes and unusually long runner beans. This show also awards the top exhibitors and competition is stiff – just like the giant root vegetables involved.
Celebrity chefs will also be on hand and presenting their ideas of how best to cook the finest autumnal ingredients.
The next autumn show will be held between 12-14 September.
A VIP Experience
If you like the idea of Harrogate’s flower shows but you imagine a day trudging through mud, then think again. A day at the Great Yorkshire Showground in either spring or autumn can be a true VIP experience from beginning to end.
If you invest in the VIP treatment at Harrogate Flower Show (prices vary depending on what you choose) ,you can start your day with a delicious luxury breakfast, move on to high tea, a glass of bubbly or two and even a decadent Sunday lunch – and this is silver service stuff. If you fancy a treat this could be an ideal way to experience the event. Whether you choose to go VIP or not you’re sure to have a great time if you are interested in gardening, or simply appreciate a bit of beauty in the world. And thankfully in Harrogate we can do just that twice a year at the blooming brilliant Harrogate Flower Shows.
Last updated 19/06/2015