Decision will safeguard important garden for the next generation
Historian, writer and garden designer Sir Roy Strong, has agreed to bequeath the Laskett Gardens to garden charity Perennial.
Sir Roy Strong and his late wife, the designer Julia Trevelyan Oman, purchased the house and the undeveloped four acre site in Herefordshire in 1973. Inspired by the great gardens before 1914, such as Hidcote, and by those of baroque Italy and Tudor and Stuart England, they embarked on designing and planting the incredible garden we see today.
Described as the largest formal gardens to be created in England since 1945s, Laskett Gardens is essentially a garden of rooms underpinned by dramatic vistas and elements of surprise, which draw the visitor through a terrain abounding with autobiographical and historical references.
'Perennial was set up by the custodians of gardens of national importance as a pension fund for those who had dedicated their lives to caring for them', says chair of its board of trustees Dougal Phillip. ‘Today, in addition to continuing to support all those who work in or have worked in horticulture, Perennial maintains and cares for late 20th century gardens of note,’ he adds. ‘We are delighted to have been offered the opportunity to carry out Sir Roy’s wishes to preserve the integrity of his outstanding garden for future generations.’
Speaking about his decision to leave his Gardens to Perennial, Sir Roy says that it is no secret that the creation of the gardens was a shared passion with his late wife and that they will remain a monument to their marriage. ‘Now that we have opened to the public that passion is shared with the thousands of visitors each year which we welcome. I am heartened that that will continue and also that the Gardens will continue to change and develop in the future. I see it not only as a bequest to Perennial but also to the county of Herefordshire.’
The garden will be left to Perennial with a generous endowment to ensure its maintenance for years to come. The charity will continue to open the garden to visitors for periods of the year, as it does its two other open gardens: York Gate, near Leeds, and Fullers Mill Garden in Suffolk.