City & Country sets new record at the WhatHouse? Awards 2023
Fascinating historical images of the gardens at King Edward VII Estate have been recreated more than 100 years later. City & Country, restorers of the Arts & Crafts Estate, uncovered the black and white photographs of workers in the grounds when they conducted initial research into the Estate’s history.
A number of photographs depicted patients of the Grade II* listed sanatorium working in the gardens, history is now repeating itself with the new team of gardeners enthusiastically tending the Estate’s exceptionally well-stocked grounds. The gardens were designed by acclaimed horticulturalist Gertrude Jekyll and are an early 20th Century example of a therapeutic garden. They are of national significance and are listed on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens.
The historic images reflect Jekyll’s belief in the benevolence of plants and their benefits to patients, who were advised at the time to “take the air” in order to improve their tuberculosis. Jekyll worked closely with the renowned architects Percy Adams and Charles Holden (who designed the sanatorium) to allow the integration of the Estate’s buildings and gardens that can still be seen today.
This was one of Jekyll’s most ambitious and complex projects. She produced 40 planting drawings for both the formal gardens to the south and the main drive way to the north where the planting merged into the natural vegetation. Detailed planting, based on the original drawings, has now taken root and the beautiful gardens have fully matured, offering acres of idyllic outside space to residents and visitors.
City & Country worked with Lady Penelope Gardens, who maintain the Estate grounds, to recreate the original images. Discussing the idea, Angela Palmerton said:
“The historical images have given us a fascinating insight into life at the Estate in the early 20th century and how the gardens were maintained. We thought it would be good fun to compare and contrast some of the photos with modern day, and the results are brilliant!”
Suzanne Aplin, Sales & Marketing Director at City & Country, added:
“We absolutely love discovering the true history of the buildings and gardens that we restore. Our team of in-house historians originally discovered these photographs and from them, alongside other information sources, we’ve been able to bring the gardens back to life and acknowledge Jekyll’s original designs.”