January 30, 2016

Small world

As I said in my last post I decided at the start of this year to study garden history. Thing is, I've encountered a name that I didn't expect to. One of my colleagues once told me that his ancestor was quite a well known architect (though I'd never heard of him). It turns out that he's more recognised for the gardens he designed alongside his houses. I've found his name in several places now, and he's responsible for a few gardens I've actually visited in the past. Ho hum. 

January 28, 2016

Who knew?

My new year's resolution was to start studying garden history. January isn't the best time to make that kind of decision, unless you live in Australia, of course. But I don't.
Recently I found myself wandering in the grounds above the Spa in Scarborough. To be fair, I get to Scarborough quite a lot, but I rarely visit the Spa end. I took the opportunity to take a stroll through the Italian Gardens, which are part of the South Cliff Gardens area. To get there I passed through what's known as the 'historic Victorian rose garden'.
For someone at the very start of studying garden history it was an informative day. For example, I had chance to get a good look at the layout of the rose garden beds without the hindrance of all those bright flowers to obstruct the view. (And I've got a good excuse to go back in the summer and see it in full bloom.)
Turns out that the winding paths leading down the cliff side, that we followed from the Esplanade to the foreshore, were laid out by Sir Joseph Paxton in the 1850s to rectify a landslip that swamped the back of the Spa buildings. Who knew?
Well, I do now, and I'll have a deal more studying to undertake as a result.