Tag Archives: hothouse

Beaudesert: “a desert beautified”

Beaudesert is/was  an enormous estate in Staffordshire’, its name probably coming from the French for  the surrounding landscape – “beautiful wilderness”.  It has a reasonably well recorded architectural and contents history up to the demolition of the great Elizabethan mansion … Continue reading

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How Orchids became a Librarian’s Nightmare

It maybe a strange title but this is really the story of a rich young man and his passion for plants or rather one particular kind of plant.  James Bateman was the grandson and son of rich industrialists who had … Continue reading

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Ickworth

I was lecturing in  Suffolk recently and took the opportunity to call in at Ickworth, for the first time in many years. What a revelation that was. Not the grand rotunda of the house, splendid on the outside but  rather … Continue reading

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Joseph, Victoria and the amazing leaf

Picture the scene. A small group of well dressed people stand around a room with a large pond in the middle watching a serious looking man and a  9 yr old girl. Everyone watches in silence as he lifts her … Continue reading

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John Weeks: Horticultural Architect

I’m always amazed by the way that some now fashionable upmarket residential areas have a different, more working class past  often with horticultural connections. Belgravia, for example, is built on the site of the Neat Houses, once London’s largest concentration … Continue reading

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