Some twenty volunteers attended the garden visit at Ashridge House last Wednesday, along with Lawrence and Bob representing the Trust – the immediate neighbours. Ashridge House relies upon the goodwill of the Trust to secure the various vistas from the House.
This is the garden for which the Mixed Style was first advocated, by Humphry Repton in his Red Book of 1813. Repton described his design as the ‘child of my age and declining powers’. He proposed fifteen different types of garden. After Repton’s death, his proposals were adapted and implemented by Sir Jeffry Wyatville. As Repton wished, there is a notable mixture of features: an Italian garden, a circular Rose Garden, a Monk’s garden and Holy Well, an Armorial Garden, a conservatory, a grotto and an avenue of Wellingtonias leading to an arboretum. Repton proposed various elements for his pioneering Mixed Style garden: a Lawn; a Pleasure Ground; a Holy Well; a Pomarium; a Monk’s Garden; an Arboretum; a Magnolia and American Garden; an Embroidered Parterre; a Grotto and Garden for Rock Plants; a Cabinet de verdure; a Mount Garden; a Rosarium and Fountain; Connecting Interior Walks; an Open Terrace and Exterior Walks. Many of these features became classic elements of Victorian garden design. Much of his work still remains today, and much has been replanted.
Katy from the Estate office took the opportunity to visit, on her last working day at the Trust – we wish her well for the future.