070624.Walcot, Georgian Garden of No. 4 King’s Circus

June 24, 2007 at 2:23 PM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Chisel Marks, Conservation, Flowers, Gardens & Parks, Light and Shadow, Restoration, somerset, University of Bath, Walcot | 9 Comments

Was going to go down and take picture of the mayoral procession to St John’s Hospital today but because it was raining too hard, I only got halfway down the hill before deciding the rain might not be good for my camera. (I don’t have an umbrella.) So here’s a historic gardens and landscape post to christen the University of Bath’s new MSc in the Conservation of Historic Gardens and Landscape programme. I’ve retyped almost all the plaques to cut down on photos and I’ve included this rare image of a soil leveler.
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Plaque I:

“In 1985 work began on recreating a Georgian-style garden. The existing garden was mainly Victorian, with a lawn and rockery, although a classical pavilion and a fish pond had been added in the 1920s.
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No. 4 Circus was completed by autumn 1761. No illustrations or written descriptions of the original garden survive but excavations by Bath Archeological Trust, the first to be undertaken in an English town garden, revealed three garden plans pre-dating the 1920s alterations.

“There was no grass at all in the first garden here. Most of it was converted with gravel mixed with clay. Three flower beds were placed on the central axis with a large, round-ended bed across the bottom. The garden was self-contained, designed to be seen purely from the house.

“Around 1770 the paved paths were extended across the ends of the bottom bed to provide access, via a flight of steps, to the Gravel Walk, which linked the newly built Royal Crescent with Queen Square.070610.17.SO.Bath.Walcot.BrockSt.d.J.WoodII.1767-1770.GeorgianGrdn

“In 1836 a basement area was added to the back of the house and the surplus soil was spread over the garden. Above this protective clay layer, generally 18” thick, a new garden was created. For the next 150 years the garden saw little change until archaeologists removed the clay in 1986, and revealed the 18th century garden plan. The basement area was filled in and the garden restored to its layout of c. 1770.”

Plaque III:

“The archaeological excavations of 1985-6 revealed the design of the 18th century garden beneath soil spread over the area during work to the basement of the house in the 9th century. The original paths and beds were located but it was not possible to identify the species or location of the plants/ The garden has been reconstructed according to the plan of c. 1770 after alterations had been made to include the steps to Gravel Walk.

“The planting is based on a plan and list of plants prepared by Dr. John Harvey of The Garden History Society. It attempts to recreated the mood of a small town garden of the period as known from documentary sources. The trellis screen and honeysuckle pole are located in positions identified as post holes during the excavations although they are modern reconstruction. The seat is an exact copy of an 18th century original.
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“Grass lawns were not easily maintained prior to the invention of mechanical lawn mower in 1832. Rolled gravel or ‘hoggin’ was used here instead. The borders are edged in Dwarfed Box, which together with the clipped topiary of Box, Yew and Holly reflect the lingering formality of earlier garden style. In the late 18th century the plants themselves were the main interest, not as today for their mass effect, but as individual botanic curiosities, often recently introduced by travelers to the New World and Indo-China. Fragrant flowers were favoured, double flowers preferred to single forms and variegated foliage was a novelty. The walls too were used to train fruit trees and climbing plants.

“The size of this garden had prevent the use of any large trees but there are small trees, shrubs, roses, hardy perennials and bulbs, with annuals planted in the central beds each Spring. All the plants used are known to have been available in the 18th century.

“The garden was completed in 1990 and is maintained by Bath Museums Service.

“Excavation of the garden was by Bath Archaeological Trust. We gratefully acknowledge the kind assistance of Bath Preservation Trust, Avon Gardens Trust, The Garden History Society and Dr. John Harvey, and the financial support of The Charles Robertson Trust, Mayor’s Honorary Guides and Bath City Council (Conservation Section)”

Contact: 

Tel: +44(0)1225 477752 Fax: +44(0)1225 444793

Georgian Garden Links: 

Georgian Gardens in Context, Garden Guides, “A Georgian Garden Reborn”by Yvonne Cuthbertson, Georgian Gardens by David C. Stewart,

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070330.Walcot, Morning Glory Burial Ground

March 30, 2007 at 2:02 AM | Posted in Bath, Cathedrals and churches, cemeteries - churchyards - and tombstones, Flowers, somerset, Walcot | 8 Comments

BDP to the Moon!

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Ja.mes- “This is the burial ground (1823) of Walcot Village Hall (1849). Josy, can you add your great morning glory fact.”

Josy– Um.
Well, we’re all aware of the hallucinogenic properties of the plant, right? Aztec priests, for example, used to use it to commune with their gods. Morning glory seeds contain a chemical called LSA (Lysergic acid amide, a compound closely related to LSD) that could produce a very trippy experience… if commercial producers didn’t coat their seeds with a non-water-soluble toxic chemical to discourage this practice. This means that if you try to ingest the prepackaged seeds from your local seed store, you’ll probably end up poisoning yourself. There are, of course, ways around this problem… and the internet is a big place. 😉

Ja.mes- Wha! Bng! Fgg!!! I didn’t mean! DRUG USE?!

Josy- But you asked for a great morning glory fact!

Ja.mes- THE FLOWER!!!

Josy- There are no great morning glory facts that have to do with morning glory FLOWERS!

Ja.mes- (keels over in unmitigated frustration)

070324.Claverton Down, The Sun Through Hail, Sleet and Snow

March 24, 2007 at 4:47 AM | Posted in Bath, Claverton Down, cumulus clouds, Flowers, somerset | 3 Comments

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It was a practically a cloudless day when this black cloud rolled along and started shooting out hail (the white pebbles below). What can you do?
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070317.Bristol, Two Worlds Apart

March 17, 2007 at 6:38 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bristol, Cathedrals and churches, cemeteries - churchyards - and tombstones, Chisel Marks, Flowers, Gardens & Parks, Monuments and Memorials, people, Sculpture, somerset | 4 Comments

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Buttresses are great in so many ways in the Bristol Cathedral Churchyard.
Was traveling by bus on Thursday for 9 and a half hours. Coincidentally, I made it to Bristol, twice… This photo was taken back in early October but it’s just as green now. (It doesn’t matter — these two are probably still reading their romance novels.)

070315.Bathampton, Murder Most Cruel?

March 15, 2007 at 1:58 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bathampton, cemeteries - churchyards - and tombstones, Chisel Marks, Flowers, Monuments and Memorials, somerset | 10 Comments

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Nearby this flower font in St Nicholas’ Churchyard is this tomb memorial. Who was the 26-year-old Elsie Adeline Luke (1865(?)-1891). The recent replacement stone was funded by the estate of Lucy Barlow. Who was Barlow? Did Barlow know of Luke, or was she caught by the “cruelly murdered” tag, which inspired her to preserve the memory of Luke instead of any number of other lost stones. I know some 36 or so 17th and 18th Century stones in the Old Dutch Burying Ground in Sleepy Hollow, New York were “conserved” by the Rockefeller family in the 1960s as a goodwill gesture to the community there since the Rockefeller’s lived nearby. These stones were not re-carved but had a cement backing poured on them to allow them to remain standing. I’m not sure if that’s good conservation since cement and conservation generally don’t mix well (…don’t bring up the pun).
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070314.Bath, No Tulips to Tiptoe Through Yet

March 14, 2007 at 2:26 AM | Posted in Bath, Bathampton, Bradford-on-Avon, cemeteries - churchyards - and tombstones, Claverton, Claverton Down, countryside, Flowers, Gardens & Parks, hippies, Light and Shadow, Overcast, somerset, towns, Trees, University of Bath, Wiltshire | 7 Comments

Considering it was the only reason people know “Tiny Tim,” statistically it’s no surprise that that was the last song he ever performed. Seriously, he suffered a heart attack while singing it at a Gala Benefit for the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis. I have a lot of flower photos I want to unload to prove to everyone that it’s spring. This has taken a lot more work than I thought it would. Maybe I’ll have more but if you don’t hear from me again, you, you dear audience are my Woman’s Club of Minneapolis.
Someone knowledgeable about flowers told me the following: “The larger dark blue/purple are primroses. The smaller blue are scilla, the very small white are wild cyclamen.” Someone less knowledgable told me if I ever go back in time that I shouldn’t step on anything. Photos presented chronologically with most recent on top.

Below: Claverton Down, Bathwick Hill Road wall with “I think (not sure) it’s creeping phlox — a particularly strong color. Usually creeping phlox…is pastel — pastel white, pink or lavender. This is a really strong color so it might be something else.” The second photo is the view from my window.
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Below: Claverton Down, University of Bath
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Below: Bath (Twerton?), High Commons, Commune Garden:
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Below: Bath (Twerton?), Royal Victoria Park’s Botanical Garden (5Mar07): (with the exception of the night shot in Claverton Down)
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Below: Bath, Royal Victoria Park (5Mar07):
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Below: Bathampton, St Nicholas’ Cementery back on the 26th of Feb.
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Below: Claverton, St Mary the Virgin’s Cemetery back on the 26th of Feb.
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Below: My first flower shot of spring(?) in Bradford-on-Avon, Wilts. back on the 30th of January!
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061231.Bath, What’s Your New Year’s Wish?

December 31, 2006 at 8:30 PM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Flowers, Light and Shadow, people, Reflection, somerset, Wells | 5 Comments

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St. Catherine’s House’s Well. Administered by the Hospital of St. John
the Baptist. The bucket was a gift from Italy (I forget where).

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