FeatureThe Elysian Plain
Painshill Park, Surrey
The Elysian Plain surrounded the Temple of Bacchus, which was a centre of entertainment for Charles Hamilton 's guests. It had become overgrown and its original 18th-century planting had been mostly lost by the late 20th century.
Solution - phase 1
Trees and flowering shrubs that would have been available to Hamilton, such as broom (Spartium junceum), shrubby mallow (Hibiscus syriacus) and a variety of roses, were originally used to restore the Elysian Plain.
Solution - phase 2
As present-day knowledge grew about how much flowering plants were used in 18th-century landscapes, the planting has been extended to include a much greater quantity and variety on the Plain.
Herbaceous plants such as bears' breeches (Acanthus mollis), coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and delphiniums have been added. A range of annual flowers, grown in the walled garden, are also bedded out each year, such as sunflowers (Helianthus annuus), love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus) and tobacco flowers (Nicotiana tabacum).
The result is that the Elysian Plain is filled with bright, cheerful plantings that are in keeping with the 18th-century role of the Temple of Bacchus that it surrounds.
The restoration and re-creation of the 18th-century planting at Painshill Park
Finding evidence of a lost 18th-century garden temple (the Temple of Bacchus, Painshill Park).