Our England is a garden that is full of stately views
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye
The garden is the special world full of events and adventures. Wanderings in the labyrinths, grottoes, thrown towers, artificial and natural ruins help to understand soul of a garden – its program, the evident or secret message turned to attentive visitors. Statues, inscriptions, arbours, garden benches cansometimes tell many interesting things about the events of small and big history.
Gardens and parks are the essential part of English culture. A garden is a pride and national passion of English people. Though England had an industrial revolution and now it is one of the most developed countries in the world English people managed to save green areas not only in the countryside but also in big cities.
plays a very important role in people`s life. In ancient times druids said that there was a very strong closeness between people and nature. In English mythology there was a green man – a spirit of the forest. He had many faces and he was out of space and time. His face was an element of decoration in ancient times. Nowadays his representations can be seen on the walls of houses and churches or in souvenir shops.
English people take care of their plants. Trees and bushes can “talk” with the visitors with the help of the special nameplates;moreover, every tree has its own number.
English people are fond of flowers, especially roses. Rose is a symbol of England as well as thistle is a symbol of Scotland and narcissus (sometimes leek) is a symbol of Wales. Rose is mentioned in literature and history. For example the War of Red and White roses. The war lasted for 30 years and the winner was Henry VII from the Lancaster house. He united two symbols and founded a new Tudor dynasty. Rose is also mentioned in literature. Oscar Wilde said that “rose is a symbol of love”, Shakespeare`s Juliet said “what`s in a name? That which we call a rose”. Rose is also an element of design. Older Englishwomen like to drink their tea from porcelain service decorated with rose ornament.
Now a few words about the history of English Gardens. English style developed from Italian gardens. Italian designers paid much attention to multiple compositions with fountains, mazes and so on. Their gardens looked grandiose and luxurious. In XVI c. English designers transformed Italian style in English style. As a matter of fact they saved all Italian elements. The example of the English style is a knot – garden. It was very popular to attach different shapes to the plants. XVI c. was Age of Exploration and many new exotic plants were discovered and brought to England.
In XVIII c. a new landscape style appeared. The founder of this style was Lancelot Brown a very talented landscape architect. Under the impression of Chinese and Japanese parks he created free – form landscape garden. The main idea of this style is disengagement. Parks should look like real nature.
The best example of the free – form landscape garden is Great Dixter. Great Dixter is the estate which belongs to a very popular landscape designer Christopher Lloyd, who is widely known among landscape designers not only in England, but also outside the country. Great Dixter is one of the most interesting, marvelous and old estates in England. The first mention of Dixter goes back to XIII century. Christopher Lloyd denies all rules of garden art. He says that in nature flowers grow together and no one pays attention whether they go together or not. In his garden all plants are mixed up.
The landscape designer is a very popular profession in England. It is rather easy to become a designer, but it is very difficult to become a good designer. A person has to study in a special academy and after graduating he has to practice by himself for a long time. Landscape designers believe that garden is an expression of your own creativity. Gardens are not museums, they are homes and the atmosphere of these homes is really important. English gardeners express their personality in the shapes of trees, in flower beds, decorative ponds and paved paths.
Not all inhabitants can afford to have their own gardens, but many of them have lawns. And that`s the real headache of English people. Every person wants his lawn to be the best and spend much time cutting the grass or raking leaves. They often boast to each other about their ideal lawns. To cut the lawn properly is a real art. English lawns have to be cut every week or even more often. Many types of lawn mowers are used to achieve the best result.
For those, who does not have their own “piece of heaven” a day in a local park is the best alternative. There they can play games, read books and newspapers or just eat.
In England all classes of society like gardening. During Queen Victoria`s reign every house must have its own garden. Victoria herself was an impassioned gardener and with her husband Albert spent much time working in her orchard and vegetable garden. People join the societies of gardeners. They have meetings at which they discuss different questions connected with gardening. The most famous society is The Royal society of Gardeners.
There is a museum of garden history in London. It was founded in1977 as the world`s first museum dedicated to the history of gardens and gardening. The museum is situated in the historical church of St. Mary – at – Lambeth, which was founded in 1062. Museum collection contains more than 9000 different exhibits, each one of which represents British gardens and gardening.
Besides museums English people are fond of flower festivals. In the middle of the XIXc. the first flower shows appeared. Nowadays the most famous show takes place in Chelsea. It is called Chelsea flower show or Great Spring Show and it is a national event. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II opens this show every year. Shrewsbury flower show is another flower festival, which takes place in Quarry Park which situated in a city of Shrewsbury in a county Shropshire. The last exhibition has been written down in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest flower exhibition in the world (it has been organized in July, 1875). The Taunton flower – show has become famous in all Southwest of England. Organized in the central small town of county Somerset, in historical Vivary Park, the exhibition represents really traditional British show.