Tuesday 24 January 2012

Edward Milner (1819-1884)

Just to follow up on this morning's post, a word about Edward Milner, one of the 19th century’s overlooked landscape gardeners.  Educated at Bakewell Grammar School,  Edward undertook a gardener’s apprentice under the famous Joseph Paxton, the head gardener to the 6th Duke of  Devonshire at Chatsworth in Derbyshire.

In 1841 Edward continued his apprenticeship at France’s main botanic garden, the Jardin des Plantes (website is in French) before returning to become Paxton’s assistant.   Together they worked on  Prince's Park in Liverpool, the Crystal Palace Park in Sydenham, near London in 1852 and the People’s Park in Halifax.

Buxton Pavilion Gardens
In the mid-1850s and following a period as superintendent of Prince’s Park, Edward became an independent designer, working at Buxton, Lincoln, Preston, Bodnant and Gisselfeld in Denmark.  Edward became principal of the Crystal Palace School of Gardening in 1881 and founded the firm of Milner-White which continued in business until 1995, by which time it was the oldest garden design and landscape architecture practice in the British Isles.

Terrace Designs from Art & Practice
Milner's park design shows an influence of Paxton's style, while The Art and Practice of Landscape Gardening published in 1890 by his son Henry Ernest presents an approach by which time was becoming unfashionable - terraces covered with parterres leading to rustic, shrubbery-ornamented landscape beyond.  The book is available free from our good friends at the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

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