Picturing England (square by square)

Helichrysum italicum at Yalding Organic Gardens, a 10-acre garden open to the public near Benover, Kent.  Photo by Oast House Archives.
Helichrysum italicum at Yalding Organic Gardens, a 10-acre garden open to the public near Benover, Kent. Photo by Oast House Archives.

If a tour of the great gardens of the British Isles is not in your cards this summer, one vicarious alternative is Geograph®  — an online project that “aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland.”

Since 2005, contributors have submitted over 3.5 million images covering over 81% of the total area.  You can search them by kilometre grid, by place name, by national trails, or by subject of interest (‘gardens’).

You can also join for free and upload your own images.  (Much of rural Ireland needs filling out.)

I spent an hour looking for gardens and country landscapes and found. . .

the classic,

The Italian Garden, Hever Castle, Kent, by Derek Voller.
The Italian Garden, Hever Castle, Kent, by Derek Voller.

the trendy,

Olympic Park, Stratford, Newham, by Chris Downer.
Olympic Park, Stratford, Newham, by Chris Downer.

the urban,

Fann Street Wildlife Garden, a private residents' garden in Barbican Estate, London, by David Hawgood.
Fann Street Wildlife Garden, a private residents’ garden in Barbican Estate, London, by David Hawgood.  The garden includes a meadow, nest boxes, a pond, and old logs for insects.

the open air,

Footpath near Gedney Drove End, Lincolnshire, by Guy Erwood.  The ditch is the Old Sea Bank.
Footpath near Gedney Drove End, Lincolnshire, by Guy Erwood. The ditch is the Old Sea Bank.

the normally off-limits,

Lambeth Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, London, by Ian Yarham. He wrote:  "The first buildings on the site being constructed around 1200. In the latter half of the 19th century, Archbishop Tait opened the eastern end of the grounds to the local poor, enabling ".. scores of pale children" to play more often out-of-doors. This part of the Palace gardens officially became a public park in 1901 as Archbishop's Park. The Palace Gardens are not generally open to the general public, but on the last Saturday in June they are used for the North Lambeth Fete. This is when I was able to visit the gardens. The Palace Gardens are classically landscaped parkland with large specimen trees set in well-tended lawns and borders, a Chinese garden, a herb garden, a terraced rose garden and a wild garden."
Lambeth Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, London, by Ian Yarham.

the far-flung,

Garden and gardener at Gravens, Shetland Islands, by Oliver Dixon.  He wrote: "Despite the unpromising climate, there are some very keen gardeners on Shetland, with some fine examples of rock gardens."
Garden and gardener at Gravens, Shetland Islands, by Oliver Dixon. He wrote: “Despite the unpromising climate, there are some very keen gardeners on Shetland, with some fine examples of rock gardens.”

the forgotten,

Former garden pond and fountain of the gardens of Bestwood Lodge, Nottinghamshire, by Mick Garratt. Behind are steps that lead nowhere now but once lead to the lodge.
Former garden pond and fountain of the gardens of Bestwood Lodge, Nottinghamshire, by Mick Garratt. The steps now lead nowhere but once went to the Lodge.

the charming,

Geraniums at Hidcote Manor Garden, near Hidcote Boyce, Gloucestershire, by David Dixon.
Geraniums at Hidcote Manor Garden, near Hidcote Boyce, Gloucestershire, by David Dixon.

the sweet,

Snowdrop, an Old Sussex Star, at Harlow Carr Gardens, near Beckwithshaw, North Yorkshire, by Rich Tea.  The garden is run by the Royal Horticultural Society.
Snowdrop, an Old Sussex Star, at Harlow Carr Gardens, near Beckwithshaw, North Yorkshire, by Rich Tea. The garden is run by the Royal Horticultural Society.

the atmospheric,

Cox Tor Triangulation Pilar, near Peter Tavy, Dartmoor, Devon, by Nigel Cox.
Cox Tor Triangulation Pillar, near Peter Tavy, Dartmoor, Devon, by Nigel Cox.

the inspiring,

Derek Jarman's garden, Dungeness, Kent, by Malc McDonald.
Derek Jarman’s garden, Dungeness, Kent, by Malc McDonald.

the sad,

Wickham Gardens, near Lincoln, by Richard Croft.  He wrote:  "Sadly, the pavilion has lost its roof and the playground almost completely denuded of all play equipment, condemned by health & safety concerns. I played here for countless hours as a boy in the 1960s and I wonder what the future holds for Wickham Gardens playground."
Wickham Gardens, near Lincoln, by Richard Croft. He wrote: “[T]he pavilion has lost its roof and the playground [is] almost completely denuded of all play equipment, condemned by health & safety concerns. I played here for countless hours as a boy in the 1960s and I wonder what the future holds for Wickham Gardens playground.”
the weird,

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens on the grounds of Riverhill House, near Underriver, Kent, by Richard Croft.  The gardens feature rhododendrons and rare trees and a view point over the Weald of Kent.  And, for some undivulged reason, a person dressed as a yeti, "moving through Chestnut Wood . . . looking rather uncomfortable in 30° heat on the hottest day of the year."
Riverhill Himalayan Gardens on the grounds of Riverhill House, near Underriver, Kent, by Richard Croft. The gardens feature rhododendrons and rare trees and a view point over the Weald of Kent –and a person dressed as a yeti, “moving through Chestnut Wood . . . looking rather uncomfortable in 30°C heat.”

the possible DIY,

The walled garden, Abbotsford, near Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders, by Barbara Carr.  Sir Walter Scott laid out the garden in the 1820s.
The walled garden, Abbotsford, near Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders, by Barbara Carr. Sir Walter Scott laid out the garden in the 1820s.

the thing-I-don’t-want-to-have-to-do-myself,

Westminster seen from the London Eye, by Raymond E. Hawkins.
Westminster seen from the London Eye, by Raymond E. Hawkins.

and, of course, the super-old and historic.

Restored medieval dovecoat, near Buckton, Northumberland, by Graham Robson.
Restored medieval dovecoat, near Buckton, Northumberland, by Graham Robson.

All the above photos are copyrighted to the photographers named in the captions and are licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons (CC) License.

10 thoughts on “Picturing England (square by square)

  1. I had to look up that first plant. Its common name is curry plant because of its smell (but it’s not the culinary herb), and it likes dry, rocky, or sandy soils.

    I like that arrangement of geraniums too. There seem to be 2 or 3 kinds, but all in light orange.

    1. The site says:
      “What is Geographing?
      It’s a game – how many grid squares will you contribute?
      It’s a geography project for the people
      It’s a national photography project
      It’s a good excuse to get out more!
      It’s a free and open online community project for all”

      Geograph is also sponsored by the Ordnance Survey, the national mapping agency of Great Britain, as an online gallery of images for teachers and students. And it probably serves much the same purpose as some of the photography collections of our Library of Congress. Over time, it will record some interesting sociological, historical, and environmental changes in the country.

      For bloggers, it is also good source for Creative Commons License photos of garden and landscape features.

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