Photographs from the PGG Visit to Chiswick House on the 9th March 2018
Driving home about 4pm from central London on a wet March evening was always going to be a slow slog, but what better way to brighten our journey than to mull over what we saw and heard.
Our reception by HG Geraldine and the Chiswick House and Garden team was warm, informative and positive. The tour started in the beautifully restored Conservatory, where the popular Show of Historic Camellias was looking terrific. We heard about their history, identification, and care: which had involved a lot of patient volunteers cleaning them leaf-by-leaf! Nearby the restored Melon house now houses the propagation units: sales are an important income stream for the garden.
We were privileged to enter the house and view a set of landscape paintings by P Rysbrack, depicting the grounds before they were remoulded by Kent.
After lunch Geraldine showed us round the grounds, stopping to describe and explain the many notable features.
The Trust is rolling out a large number of events each year to swell visitor numbers. I was impressed by Geraldine’s positive view on these intrusions as opportunities, and generally the feel was not so much a garden weighed down by the dead hand of history but more an energetic celebration of a great garden.