William Robinson – The Father of the English Flower Garden
The gardens at Gravetye Manor are a very special place and can be considered amongst the most influential in English gardening history. The manor became the home of the creative, innovative and revolutionary gardener, William Robinson in 1884. Robinson spent his remarkable life as a professional gardener and botanist, but made his fortune through writing about his experiences and ideas on horticulture. His most notable works include The English Flower Garden, which is one of the best-selling horticultural books of all time, and the hugely influential title, The Wild Garden.
Robinson’s ideas about naturalised plantings, allowing nature to flow into the garden were ground breaking. Previous to Robinsons books gardens were places where nature was controlled and suppressed, meticulously managed, with carpet bedding and topiary. Robinson travelled the world studying plants in their natural habitat and spent years discussing how the beauty of these habitats might be replicated in the garden. This paved the way for much that we take for granted today in modern garden design. After years of studying, gardening and writing Robinson came to Gravetye and it was here he put his ideas into practice.