Category Archives: Uncategorized

Babylonstoren: an historic garden in the making

Back in September I was in South Africa and taken to see Babylonstoren, an impressive  “new” garden about an hour north of Cape Town. The 200-hectare estate lies at the foot of the  Simonsberg mountain range near Franschhoek in the … Continue reading

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Painting the Gardens of History with Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale

What’s in a name? Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale sounds like an escapee from a Victorian 3-volume bodice-ripper or maybe the wicked governess in a  1920s girls comic – well that’s what I thought when I first saw her name.  That will … Continue reading

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The Turf Maze

Way back in  April 2021  I wrote a piece about the  Elizabethan painting below, which as you can see from the detail, has a maze in the background.   It struck me as an unusual things to put into a … Continue reading

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Cutting Edge Technology

There can’t be many garden tools that have caused hundreds of people to demonstrate in the streets against their  introduction. But that’s precisely what happened in 1840 when a committee decided to test a new device against traditional methods and … Continue reading

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Gardening Advice from a Squint-Eyed Monk

I’ve written several posts on early gardening books, but today’s post goes back even further. It’s about the first gardening book in European history which dates from around 830-40AD. It  was written by a Benedictine monk who spent most of … Continue reading

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