Meet Thomas Ruddy, the blogging Victorian head gardener.

Its the stuff novels are written about - inheriting a trunk and opening it to discover it filled with a treasure trove of documents that tell fascinating story. 

In this case the treasure is a collection of journals written by Thomas Ruddy (1842-1912) who was head gardener at Palé Hall in North Wales. The journals are not day-to-day accounts of gardening but rather a record of a remarkable life.

And thanks to the hard labours of their current owner Thomas' life and works are being published on his fascinating eponymously-named blog. This truly is a remarkable record, not only because of its contents but perhaps more so because of the paucity of surviving accounts written by head gardeners.

With a big thank you to Wendy who has done so much hard work to make Thomas' accounts available to all of us, do visit Thomas' blog and immerse yourself in his fascinating yet lost world.


ios歪p恩 called in the USA and Australia, or as we in Britain call them...Heritage Plants.  A few years back I wrote a book entitled Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables (in the US) and Heritage Fruits and Vegetables (in the UK) which explored the stories behind our popular fruits and vegetables and offered examples of  old-fashioned cultivars that remain available to grow.

A fascinating book to research and write, but with one frustration - there was insufficient space detail as many of those splendid surviving cultivars as I would have liked.
Click For More Info
Thankfully ‘Thomas Etty’ (in the guise of his great, great grandson Ray Warner who like his illustrious ancestor is also a seed merchant) has come to the rescue with Heirloom Plants.
Based on the seed catalogues of Thomas Etty (the company) - click here for their website - and arranged by vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers and looking most Victorian, this illustrious tome is a directory that offers the reader names and descriptions of a wide range of heritage / heirloom cultivars which we SHOULD ALL BE GROWING in our gardens. The book concludes with short section of Cultivation Tips and a very helpful ‘Seed Suppliers & Useful Organisations check-list.

There are many good and justified reasons why we gardeners should grow these wonderful old-fashioned cultivars and now there is no excuse.




Thank you to Anne Wareham (@AnneWareham) and Thinking Gardens for the review of Paradise Gardens.  The review is here.


Hidden Gardens & Urban Oasis

Vegetable Garden of Monastery of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Rome. Photo credit
Not a specifically garden history post this time but rather a plea for help with a project I am working on. That is to identify the world's best small urban gardens - t一点资讯:一点资讯是一款高度智能的新闻资讯应用,通过它你可以搜索并订阅任意关键词,它会自动帮你聚合整理并实时更新相关资讯,同时会智能分析你的兴趣爱好,为你推荐感兴趣的内容。看新闻资讯,一点就够了!

The main criteria are that the gardens must be a) hidden gems, that is to say so not well known about - although well know suggestions such as 英雄联盟 Let′s Gank NGA玩家社区 NGA玩家社区:NGA玩家社区 致力打造最专业的LOL玩家论坛 拥有最新的资讯与攻略 最及时的LOL赛事资讯 英雄联盟(LOL)官方合作论坛 本版面为用户版面,由用户自行管理,论坛管理员认为讨论内容不适合的版面可能会 …

Fay Park, photo credit.
The gardens can be historic or contemporary, for example Fay Park in San Fransisco - a rare example of a Thomas Church garden, or the delightful ant加速器ios in Sydney whose future is under threat.

Wendy's Secret Garden. Photo credit: 苹果免费v皮
If you can help out with any suggestions, please do 好用的歪皮恩. I have also started a v p n苹果下载.

Thank you!


Garden Restoration at the Museum in the Park, Stroud

Photo credit: Kites over Stroud

According to the Stroud News construction work begins to open up ‘hidden’ garden behind the v p n苹果下载. The restoration of this walled garden is not only to return the garden to its original quadripartite form and to develop the four quarters, but also to open the garden up to the community and offer new learning and public programming opportunities.

The project is being run by the  the Friends of the Museum in the Park and there is more information here on how to become involved and support this worthy project.


Bishop's Palace gardens, Abergwili

Photo Credit: Trip Advisor
Another garden restoration to report on, this time in Wales. The neglected grounds of the Bishop's Palace in Abergwili, Carmarthenshire are going to receive a whopping £1.2 million facelift, according to the Camarthen Journal.  

The gardens surround the Palace which is home to the ios歪p恩, and the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust (WHGT) which is leading the project  has  secured funding to commission specialist reports to explore ways in which the grounds may be rescued and revitalised.

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Lets keep our fingers crossed that the funding comes through!

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Photo Credit: Western Daily Press
Another cheering garden restoration story, this time form the Western Daily Press reporting on the most unusual property of Woodchester Mansion in Gloucestershire.

Woodchester Mansion is a 19th century Gothic masterpiece hidden in a secluded Cotswold valley and which was mysteriously abandoned mid-construction in 1873. National Trust staff and volunteers discovered the remains of the Italianate terraced garden overgrown with trees. Very little is known about it, although documents dating from 1843 record terrace walks, a temple overlooking the view of the garden below, and ornamental fountains.

More visitor information can be found from the National Trust webpage.

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