Tuesday, 15 April 2014

George London, sunny Derbyshire and perhaps a revived County Gardens Trust for Nottinghamshire?

Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire is an excellent example of an early 18th garden. It's also a very appropriate place for a Study Day on nurseryman and designer, George London, in this, the 300th anniversary year of his death.  Last week, Derbyshire Historic Gardens, The Garden History Society and AGT Trustees, Joanne Kidd and Sarah Fitzgerald, gave us the chance to find out a little more about the work of one half of the 'great gardening duo', George London and Henry Wise. http://www.melbournehall.com
(copyright Liz Ware)

As with any stimulating Study Day, we left with as many questions as we were given answers. Who could fail to be intrigued to hear of the letters written to the 18th century owner of Melbourne Hall, the Rt Hon Thomas Coke, by his sister, Elizabeth? How fascinating it would be to learn more about the insight they provide into the house and gardens at Melbourne Hall in the early 18th century.

Melbourne is a survivor, not just in terms of its early 18th century design, but also as a result of its unusually well preserved archives.  More recent, but unfortunately less well-documented, are the many World War I landscapes and memorials that are scattered around the country.  The War Memorials Trust would like to hear about more of them and are asking County Gardens Trusts (CGTs) to register any that they discover. https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk

As always, CGT research teams are busy all around the country. Many are already working on the Capability Brown project.  Kate Harwood, who will be coordinating their research gets a mention in the latest Capability Brown 300 news. http://www.capabilitybrown.org/news/research-co-ordinator-association-gardens-trust

Given the new and exciting work involved in the CB300 project and the CGTs increased involvement in planning consultations, it's important that every county has a Trust to represent its interests.  Today, Nottinghamshire is the only county without an active Trust. AGT Chairman, Steffie Shields, and Historic Landscape Project Officer, Verena McCaig, would like to do something to help.

They're holding a meeting for all those interested in bringing Nottinghamshire's Trust back to life at Nottingham Trent University, Brackenhurst Campus on 26th April (11.30 -13.30).  If you live in Nottinghamshire and would like to come along and find out more, please contact the AGT co-ordinator at the Gardens Trust email address available on http://www.gardenstrusts.org.uk/10-contact.html

In the meantime, enjoy National Gardening Week. There are plenty of events to choose from. http://www.nationalgardeningweek.org.uk

And for anyone who has forgotten, it's also Beanpole week.  Happy planting! http://www.beanpoles.org.uk

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