Goddards Study Day – Gardens from Two Perspectives

Wednesday 9 June 2004

In ‘Games with Geometry’ Jane Brown traced Lutyens’ s mathematical obsession, particularly with the circle in a square, through his architectural education into his gardens, e.g. Folly Farm, Ammerdown, Castle Drogo. She emphasized that geometric proportion was the ‘code’ to understanding his gardens, no less than the buildings.

In her beautifully illustrated talk ‘Some Jekyll Gardens Restored’ Jane Balfour analysed the philosophy and practice of restoring and recalled planting at Munstead Wood, Townhill Park, Durmast at Burley, Boveridge Park and the Manor House at Upton Grey. She reflected that it was largely through the generosity and enthusiasm of one or two people that such restorations took place.

We enjoyed lunch in the sunny garden; afterwards Jane Brown briefly explained the ‘code’ geometry of Goddards’ garden, and then we left for an afternoon at Vann at Hambledon, arranged by Jane Balfour with Dr Mary Caroe. Dr Caroe told us the history of her house and garden and we spent the afternoon wandering at our leisure. Vann’ s serenity springs from being the home of the Caroe family since Gertrude Jekyll first suggested planting ideas to the architect W D Caroe, which he didn’t always accept! We dispersed happily after tea.