As January 5 approaches, Downton Abbey fans on this side of the pond are eagerly awaiting a US broadcast of the British drama's fourth season. We're dusting off our tea sets and revisiting questions we were left with at last season's close. Of course, readers of this magazine may have additional questions: How high will the trellised roses have climbed? What flowers will fill the garden's herbaceous borders? Will we see any new topiary or espalier designs? The gardens are beautiful, and they are a enthralling backdrop to the drama & romance.
Whether to celebrate those plants Napoleon brought home from Egypt, or those collected by eminent botanists of the eighteenth century, a florilegium has rarely been a casual endeavor. The illustrated plant books were popular in the seventeenth century; today, those volumes remain important documents of art, science and history. Josephine Bonaparte commissioned a florigelium for her garden at Malmaison, filled with rare flowers acquired around the world. Sir Joseph Banks had one to catalogue the plants collected on Captain Cook's voyage around the globe.
"I wondered why so many gardens around the world focused on the healing power of plants rather than their ability to kill. I felt that most children I knew would be more interested in hearing how a plant killed, how long it would take you to die if you ate it, and how gruesome and painful the death might be." —Duchess of Northumberland, on curating the Poison Garden at Alnwick Castle.
On June 8, 2012, as part of the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, the York Minister Cathedral held a dinner inside the cathedral.
While on assignment for the likes of House & Garden and National Geographic over the past 20 years, photographer Andrea Jones has been lucky enough to set foot in many of the world’s finest gardens.
The year 1455 was a pivotal time of political unrest in England; it was the beginning of the Wars of the Roses, when white and red roses were the divisive motifs of a civil feud. The long war would end with a new dynasty, and a rose that symbolized England's unity.
The life of Mary Granville Pendarves Delany (1700-1788) was one spent with flowers. She embroidered floral gowns, decorated shell grottos of flowers, designed garden parterres and allées. A 18th-century socialite with noble blood (descended from the royal court of Queen Elizbeth I) and fascinating friends (adored by Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and Edmund Burke), the charming doyenne was prolific and creative throughout her long life.