Thursday 10 September 2015

Hidden Gardens & Urban Oasis

Vegetable Garden of Monastery of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Rome. Photo credit
Not a specifically garden history post this time but rather a plea for help with a project I am working on. That is to identify the world's best small urban gardens - the quirkier and more unusual the better

The main criteria are that the gardens must be a) hidden gems, that is to say so not well known about - although well know suggestions such as New York's Payley Park are most welcome. And b) the gardens must be open to the public - with or without an entrance fee.

Fay Park, photo credit.
The gardens can be historic or contemporary, for example Fay Park in San Fransisco - a rare example of a Thomas Church garden, or the delightful Wendy's Secret Garden in Sydney whose future is under threat.

Wendy's Secret Garden. Photo credit: Time Out
If you can help out with any suggestions, please do email me. I have also started a Pinterest page.

Thank you!

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Garden Restoration at the Museum in the Park, Stroud

Photo credit: Kites over Stroud

According to the Stroud News construction work begins to open up ‘hidden’ garden behind the Museum in the Park. The restoration of this walled garden is not only to return the garden to its original quadripartite form and to develop the four quarters, but also to open the garden up to the community and offer new learning and public programming opportunities.

The project is being run by the  the Friends of the Museum in the Park and there is more information here on how to become involved and support this worthy project.

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Bishop's Palace gardens, Abergwili

Photo Credit: Trip Advisor
Another garden restoration to report on, this time in Wales. The neglected grounds of the Bishop's Palace in Abergwili, Carmarthenshire are going to receive a whopping £1.2 million facelift, according to the Camarthen Journal.  

The gardens surround the Palace which is home to the Camarthenshire Museum, and the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust (WHGT) which is leading the project  has  secured funding to commission specialist reports to explore ways in which the grounds may be rescued and revitalised.

Following this there will be a further grant application to secure the funds to enable the physical work which will, according to Judith Holland of WHGT "conserve and revitalise the Bishop's Park, the walled kitchen garden and portions of the great meadow and the Bishop's pond." 

Lets keep our fingers crossed that the funding comes through!

Victorian Garden Restoration at Woodchester Mansion

Photo Credit: Western Daily Press
Another cheering garden restoration story, this time form the Western Daily Press reporting on the most unusual property of Woodchester Mansion in Gloucestershire.

Woodchester Mansion is a 19th century Gothic masterpiece hidden in a secluded Cotswold valley and which was mysteriously abandoned mid-construction in 1873. National Trust staff and volunteers discovered the remains of the Italianate terraced garden overgrown with trees. Very little is known about it, although documents dating from 1843 record terrace walks, a temple overlooking the view of the garden below, and ornamental fountains.

More visitor information can be found from the National Trust webpage.

Thursday 3 September 2015

Paradise Gardens... officially published today by Frances Lincoln.  I am very excited. 

There is  a review of it by Alison Levey on her The Blackberry Garden blog.

Conferences & Symposium

A quick heads-up for a handful of conferences and symposium to put in the diary. A number also have a call for papers. 

The fourth international meeting of the European Architectural History Network will be held in Dublin, Ireland, on 2-4 June 2016. The deadline for submission of papers is 30 September - more here.

The VI International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture is to be held in Athens, Greece between 20-25 June 2016.  Organised by the Laboratory of Floriculture & Landscape Architecture of the Agricultural University of Athens, under the auspices of the International Society for Horticultural Science is now open for Abstract Submission.

Environment and History is looking to build on the success of its sponsored 'Parks and Gardens' panels at the European Society for Environmental History this summer in Versailles by putting together a special issue of the journal focused on park and garden history. Applications are invited for papers from scholars working in any field whose work interrogates the subject of parks and gardens with a historical emphasis.

Last but not least, Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks invites proposals for presentations at the 2016 symposium “Landscape and the Academy.”  Universities are custodians of some of the world's most significant designed landscapes. How and why have they come to be responsible for so many different kinds of landscapes? And what role do these landscapes play today in academic life, pedagogy, and cultural politics? To be considered for inclusion, send a c.v. and a one paragraph to one page abstract to by September 15, 2015.