The knot garden at Moseley Old Hall

During the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 a lot of attention was focussed on the garden. For those fortunate to have one it was possibly their most frequented landscape, while for some it was the only one that they could get to see. Gardens, parks, and other open spaces have become more appreciated than ever as millions have sought to rediscover their relationship with the landscape and with nature.

Gardens such as the one above (complete with its crouching peacock) represent perhaps the most highly-manicured and controlled form of a managed nature. Although the knot garden at Moseley Old Hall, a National Trust property in Staffordshire, is a relatively modern creation, it is based on a 17th century design. The original, laid out by the Reverend Walter Stonehouse at his rectory in Darfield near Barnsley in Yorkshire, survived until the 1920s and is recorded in a manuscript in the library of Magdalen College, Oxford.

Garden History

As a specialised form of landscape study, garden history is a subject in its own right, with its own society and journal, both now incorporated within The Gardens Trust, which holds a series of online events where you can learn more about this most intimate of landscapes.