Wednesday 30 January 2013

William Robinson

William Robinson
Another super post from Cambridge Library Collection Blog team featuring a biography of one of my heroes, the feisty Irish writer and proselytizer William Robinson (1838-1935.)

'Colonies of Poet's Narcissus and Broad Leaved Saxifrage' from The Wild Garden
In brief, Robinson was a prime force behind the late 19th century change in garden fashions away from the formality of the High Victorian terrace with its geometric beds and bedding schemes to a revival of hardy plants and a naturalistic style.
Edge Hall, Malpas, Cheshire. Lawn garden with hardy flowers in beds and groups' from The English Flower Garden
As a best-selling author and magazine publisher (Gertrude Jekyll was a regular contributor to The Garden) Robinson, a horticulturist,  was also instrumental in the so-called 'Battle of Styles' in which he was pitted against the architect Sir Reginald Blomfield who also despised the existing style but wanted to move gardening towards a formal revival based on Tudor and Elizabethan styles.  The result was that architect and gardener - Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll - proved that the sum was greater than the total of the two parts, and created their  Arts and Crafts masterpieces.

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