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Priscilla Boniface

Room or building for the display of plants, often used as a living area (sometimes known as a ‘winter garden’) and frequently attached to a house. The distinctions between the conservatory and other forms of glass house (see Greenhouse and Orangery) were blurred until well into the 19th century, when a conservatory was usually interpreted as an ornamental, glazed living room decorated with plants. On 30 October 1683 the diarist John Evelyn reported on the ‘greenhouses’ (destr.) containing myrtle and orange trees that were attached to the house of Sir Henry Capel (d 1696) at Kew; in the 19th and 20th centuries such buildings might well have been termed conservatories. The Conservatory (1787–90; later the Sculpture Gallery) at Woburn Abbey, Beds, designed by Henry Holland, was also called the Greenhouse, demonstrating the interchangeable nature of the two terms in the late 18th century. During the 18th century visits could be made to the plant houses and other garden buildings to escape the boredom resulting from over-long confinement in a country house. In the later 19th century the function of the conservatory as a retreat became so predominant that the plants became merely a decorative background in a glazed room intended for relaxation and entertainment....

Article

Gazebo  

Tim Mowl

Garden house built on a terrace, with views to a road outside or the distant countryside. Until the 1830s, when ‘belvedere’ became the more acceptable term, small turrets on a roof-top were also described as gazebos, as were Maltese mirador windows. The term, with its implied meaning ‘I will look out’, was coined whimsically in the early 18th century using the Latin future tense ending, but the type of structure it describes developed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I from the less ambitious forms of the medieval garden mount.

The compact houses of the English Renaissance afforded neither the privacy nor the viewpoints that had been common in the towered domestic castles of the late Middle Ages. Gazebos developed to supply these two advantages, and both Longleat House, Wilts (c. 1572), and Hardwick Hall, Derbys (1591–7), have prospect rooms on their roofs. As garden design in this period grew more ambitious, it became usual for these to be built, often in pairs, on a terrace. From there, the parterres could be viewed and, away from prying servants, alfresco meals enjoyed. ...

Article

Priscilla Boniface

[glasshouse]

Building for the protection, propagation and cultivation of plants. Greenhouses, probably roofed in mica, existed in Roman times. During the 16th century, the beginnings of the application of science to plant-growing, which led to the development of the Botanic garden in Europe, encouraged the construction of greenhouses. In ‘houses’ formed of a ‘hot bed’ of such heat-generating substances as bark or dung, situated against a south wall and ‘roofed’ with straw, canvas matting or individual glass cones, tender plants could be encouraged to survive and prosper. Such ‘houses’ gradually became more substantial, with brick or masonry sides, and eventually incorporated small panes of expensive glass. One of the most dramatic uses of portable glass coverings for plants was at Sanssouci (see Potsdam §2), where from 1773 the vineyard terrace (1747; by Georg Wenceslaus von Knobelsdorff), which was also used for growing pomegranate and orange trees, was covered in glass in cold weather. The greenhouse was introduced on the east coast of ...

Article

Priscilla Boniface

Building for the protection of tender plants, particularly orange trees, in cold weather. By the 18th century the interpretation of the name and function had gradually expanded to include any ‘house’ the purpose of which was to contain plants for display (see also Conservatory). Orangeries were frequently used for promenades. The orange tree was being grown in mainland Europe by the end of the 15th century and in Britain by the end of the 16th century. The first purpose-built orangeries evolved from temporary structures and from garden houses, which were requisitioned to contain orange trees and other tender plants. In cold weather coverings could be manoeuvred over orange trees that were planted outside, but, if they were grown in pots, they were moved to the protective rooms. During the ‘closed season’, in either case, protective wooden shutters allowed some light and air to reach the plants. The temporary Orangery at ...

Article

John Kenworthy-Browne and Lin Barton

(b Milton Bryant, Beds, Aug 3, 1803; d Sydenham, Kent, June 9, 1865).

English horticulturalist, garden designer, and architect. He established his reputation as a gardener at Chatsworth House, Derbys, where he developed new construction techniques for glasshouses. This work inspired his acclaimed and influential ‘Crystal Palace’, which housed the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London (see fig.).

The youngest son of a farmer, Paxton lacked formal education and his professional training was in horticulture. He worked at Battlesden, Beds, and other country house gardens before employment in 1823 at the Horticultural Society’s new garden at Chiswick. While there he encountered the 6th Duke of Devonshire, who, impressed by his intelligence and bearing, asked him in May 1826 to be head gardener at Chatsworth, Derbys. Paxton rapidly brought the neglected garden to be possibly the most famous and influential in England. From 1831 he also edited and wrote in botanical magazines, becoming widely known and publishing many details of plants and improvements at Chatsworth (e.g. ...

Article

Mairead Dunlevy

Irish city and centre of glass production. The earliest Waterford glass factory was established in Gurteens, near Waterford, during the 1720s, and production included lead-glass drinking vessels with pedestal stems, garden glasses, vials, bottles and other green glassware. The factory was closed about 1739.

In 1783 the Waterford Glass House was established by the merchants George Penrose and William Penrose, who employed John Hill and other glassmakers from Stourbridge, England. In 1799 the factory was taken over by three partners, James Ramsey (d c. 1810), Jonathan Gatchell (1752–1823) and Ambrose Barcroft, who in 1802 extended the works and installed new machinery. In 1823 George Gatchell became manager, and the works remained in the family until it closed. The factory produced cut, engraved and moulded glass of excellent quality, and c. 1832 steam power was installed in the factory, which allowed an increase in production.

The outstanding qualities of Waterford glass are its clarity and the precise cutting. The typical early Waterford decanter is barrel-shaped, has three or four neck rings and a wide, flat, pouring lip. Stoppers of Waterford production are almost invariably mushroom-shaped with a rounded knop below the stopper neck. From the cut patterns on marked Waterford decanters it would seem that popular designs included the pillar and arch embellished with fine diamonds. The numerous drawings of Waterford designs (Dublin, N. Mus.) made between ...