Tucked between the busy M25 and A3 motorways in Surrey, Painshill Park was created in the 18th century by the Hon. Charles Hamilton, as a fine example of naturalistic landscape.
Hamilton was among the first plant enthusiasts to introduce new species and hybrids from the USA, some of which are still present at Painshill today. He obtained many of his plants from renowned American nurseryman John Bartram (Pennsylvania).
The Gardens were restored in the 1980s using 18th century plans and illustrations, and John Bartram’s plants have been carefully researched and added to the garden since then. The Collection was awarded full status in 2006, and displays over 100 taxa of North American plants. Here are just a few which were beginning to show their autumn colours last month:
In addition to these rather interesting plants, there are information panels explaining how plants and seeds were transported during long boat journeys, and there’s even a replica of John Bartram’s potting shed:
The collection is held in a walled garden at the entrance of Painshill Park, with various vegetable crops grown in the centre. Look at those cloches…
And of course, what better suited to the settings than a pumpkin theatre:
Painshill Park’s head gardener for more than 10 years and passionate researcher Kath Clark sadly died last year, but it is great to see that her work lives on!
The garden can be visited all year round, see http://www.painshill.co.uk/visit-painshill/opening-admission/