Meeting October 11

Talk: Michael Brown Garden Historian & Author

Again a good attendance of around 50 members and guests were present for an interesting talk and slide presentation entitled ‘Knots & Bowers, the Tudor Garden’.

Gardening has been essential for many people throughout history. Only the very wealthy could afford gardens for pleasure alone. Most gardens combined beauty with practical use. Food flavourings, medicines, textiles and dyes could be grown or found growing wild locally.

Michael’s colourful slideshow took us through a series of English decorative and medieval gardens throughout the centuries.

The first gardening book to be published in English was in 1594 by Adam Islip. Parterres were around before the Norman invasion and it is thought the design of knot gardens were copied from the embroidery on ladies dresses.

Borders were made up of thyme, lavender and hyssop. Box was not used until the 1600’s.

Garden fountains were introduced by the Romans whose use of channeling water in settlements is well known. A early fountain was installed in Kenilworth Castle to entertain Elizabeth 1st.

Ponds built waist deep were popular in Tudor Gardens for guests to admire the fish before they were eaten! No vegetation was grown around ponds as is common today.

The next meeting of the Society will take place on Tuesday November 8 and will feature David Coop of seed specialists Elsoms who will talk about “Breeding Better Plants’ .

His talk will be preceded at 7.45pm by the Annual General Meeting

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