Flower Magazine

JAN-FEB 2019

Browse "flower" to learn techniques from established and up-and-coming designers, be inspired by the floral decor of weddings, galas, and flower and garden shows, and infuse your lifestyle with chic floral fashion and home decor.

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E tenet that "formality is often essential to the plan of a garden— never in the arrangement of its flowers and shrubs," Robinson planted countless trees and shrubs and thousands of bulbs and other eye-catching ground covers, as well as a walled kitchen garden, a heather garden, and a water garden dense with water lilies. The artists he invited to paint the Gravetye grounds found an embarrassment of riches. But the 1,000-acre property was in a sad state in 1958, when hotelier Peter Herbert set about restoring the manor and turning it into one of Britain's first country house hotels. With the help of one of Robinson's old gardeners, Herbert cleared the overgrowth and replanted species where they had grown in the garden's prime. The restoration continued for more than 40 years. Aided by its proximity to London, Gravetye soon became a getaway known for the caliber of its lodging and cuisine. In 2010, English investor Jeremy Hosking and his wife, Elizabeth, who had been guests there, bought the property and have continued to modernize the manor and improve the ENGLAND HAS AN ABUNDANCE OF GREAT GARDENS AND landmark hotels, but perhaps nowhere do they come together more harmoniously than at Gravetye Manor in Sussex. Established in 1598, the handsomely weathered Jacobean structure belonged for many years to influential garden writer William Robinson, known as the father of the English flower garden. In his best-known books, The Wild Garden (1870) and The English Flower Garden (1883), Robinson argued against the Victorian pattern garden, with its geometric plantings of showy annuals, in favor of native and imported perennials artfully mixed into herbaceous borders and drifts alongside meadows, woodlands, and water. Robinson (with his friend Gertrude Jekyll) gave us what became the exemplary English, and to a large extent American, garden: a natural style blending wild and contrived elements that create pleasing vistas, picturesque vignettes, and year-round interest. The garden guru put his ideas into practice at Gravetye, which he owned from 1884 until his death in 1935. Following his ABOVE: Beyond the forecourt and its luxuriant borders lies a sunlit meadow. OPPOSITE: The manor's original entrance; it now leads to one of the main sitting rooms. PREVIOUS SPREAD: The flower garden adorns the entrance with the dense, diverse borders Robinson favored. J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 | 55

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