Thursday 30 August 2012

A Lost Garden in Jersey - and Samuel Curtis

Image from Samuel Curtis Garden Project

A post on the Garden History Society Forum tells that sadly the garden of Chateau la Chaire (now is Chateau La Chaire hotel and restaurant) is 'destined to remain lost since the failure to kick start the renaissance of this once sublime sub-tropical plants mans paradise at Rozel Bay, on the Sunshine Island of Jersey.'

The garden was designed in from 1841 by the English nurseryman, publisher and botanist Samuel Curtis. Curtis who designed Victoria Park in Bethnal Green from 1845.  The park is being used as part of the 2012 London Olympics to host BT London Live Victoria Park.

1845 Plan for Victoria Park
Curtis eventually moved into the chateau in 1852There is a goodly correspond between Curtis and  Sir William Hooker (who was Director) at Kew, and  Outbooks reveal that Curtis received many new, exotic and slightly tender plants which had arrived at Kew through the endeavours of the plant hunters and which Kew dispatched in order to trial them in Curtis's new garden.  There is more about the garden and hoped-for restoration at the Samuel Curtis Garden Project.

You may also recognise Samuel's surname from Curtis's Botanical Magazine, which was founded by Samuel's first cousin and father-in-law, William Curtis in 1787.  Samuel  succeeded to the editorship of the magazine in 1927 selling his rights in 1846. Curtis's Botanical Magazine (1801-1920) is downloadable for free from our good friends at the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Samuel died at la Chaire in 1860 - and surely there must be a philanthropist or two amongst Jersey's millionaires who would like to help restore Curtis's wonderful creation?

1 comment:

  1. I fear the restoration will never take place in the face of stiff local opposition to any development in this area of Jersey. The problem of parking and access would also be a problem.
    The group who were going to undertake the restoration also disagreed on a number of issues.
    I visited the site last week and still like to see it whenever I visit.