William Robinson’s Garden19th October 2010 • Places to Visit • Stephanie Donaldson
Gravetye Manor has a long and illustrious history, but as far as gardeners are concerned it is the home of William Robinson who moved the Victorians away from formality (described by him as ‘pastry cooks work’) and did much to inspire the type of informal, natural-style gardens that we favour today. In more recent years Gravetye Manor has been a hotel with a reputation for fine food, but the garden gradually fell into decline. Earlier this year a new owner came on board who is turning this round, restoring the garden to its Robinsonian splendour. With this renewed focus on gardening, I was invited to a Gardeners Lunch (delicious) to hear Rick Darke (inspired and entertaining) give a talk on the resurgence of the ‘wild garden’ globally and Robinson’s (and Gravetye’s) role in the origin and development of the concept. Rick has published a new expanded edition of Robinson’s famous work The Wild Garden. Find out more about Rick Darke.