Chiswick House and Gardens – the Transformative Effect of Lottery Largesse

Chiswick House Main Front

When I first moved to West London I was curious to check out local parks and gardens, the first being Chiswick House and Gardens. The house at that time was a faded, tired but spectacular small villa under the custodianship … Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – ‘If you haven’t got vision, you very quickly degrade the landscape’.

North Park Meadow and Velodrome in 2012

‘If you haven’t got vision, you very quickly degrade the landscape’. These were the prophetic words spoken five years ago by James Hitchmough the designer of much of the landscape planting at the 2012 Olympic Park (now renamed the Queen … Continue reading

Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park 2 – A (Royal) Breath of Fresh Air…….

The Sunken Garden

Gardens inevitably reflect the times and wishes of the people who commission and design them and altering or restoring an historical garden presents a problem. To what period and to what extent do you reinstate it, particularly when it has … Continue reading

Richmond Park: Charles I’s Great Legacy

Isabella Plantation: Kurume Azaleas

Many would consider Charles I’s great legacy was his fabulous art collection of over 1500 pictures and 500 sculptures, sold off by Oliver Cromwell, and after the Restoration only partially reassembled by Charles II; but for me and many other … Continue reading

Regent’s Park 2 – The Secret Garden – Calm and Tranquility

The Secret Garden: The Circular Garden

I have on many occasions thought of writing a review about The Secret Garden but then it wouldn’t be secret anymore and do I really want more people to know about it? Its proper name is the Garden to St. … Continue reading

Hampton Court Palace: The Privy Garden ‘The Little Gentleman in the Black Velvet Waistcoat’

View from Queen Mary’s Bower Looking Towards the Palace

It was ‘the little gentleman in the black velvet waistcoat’ that led to the demise of William III and as a consequence the rapid decline of Hampton Court Palace’s great formal gardens. The little gentleman in question had pushed up … Continue reading