An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Landscapes
Arts and Crafts Movement
Throughout the earlier part of the twentieth century the Arts and Crafts Movement, stimulated by the theories and writings of John Ruskin (1819-1900), William Morris (1834-96) and others from the mid-nineteenth century, continued in popularity. Although eclectic in their design, most Arts and Crafts gardens featured 'green architecture' - clipped yew hedges, plants trained as standards and topiary; garlands of wisteria, roses and laburnum tumbling over walls and pergolas; plants growing through paving and steps; irregular masses of plants and vertical layering in the herbaceous border; and drifts of progressive colours throughout the year. This rich planting was taken forward in the first half of the twentieth century by plantsmen-designers but also by the work of passionate amateurs, such as the American Lawrence Johnston (1871-1958) at Hidcote Manor, Gloucestershire (from 1907); and Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962) and Harold Nicolson at Sissinghurst Castle, Kent (from 1930). Both gardens show the beguiling combination of formal architectural design and informal luxuriant planting, typical of Edwardian design.
Although the First World War had left many grand country houses and their gardens in a state of neglect, there were still sufficient wealthy clients for the interwar period to be one of expansion for the architect, interior designer and the garden designer, with the socialite Norah Lindsay (1873-1948) drawing out garden plans 'with the tip of her umbrella'. Lindsay became renowned for her innovative planting, particularly her long, spiky borders (spires), as seen at Blickling Hall (Norfolk) for the 11th Marquis of Lothian, Kelmarsh Hall (Northants) for the Lancasters, Trent Park (Middlesex) and Port Lympne (Kent) for Sir Philip Sassoon and at her own home, Sutton Courtney (Berkshire).