kew gardens

Capability Brown at Syon.

This project has been brewing for quite a while now, When I think back It maybe approaching nearly two years. 

For many keen gardeners and garden lovers 2016 marks the 300th birthday of Lancelot Capability Brown. 

A figure in garden history that really changed the English landscape from highly formal structured garden spaces we expect to see during the 16th-17th centuries. 
To open expansive landscapes or parklands that emerged during the 18th century and still remain across many sites today. 

Browns style is instantly recognisable some fine examples such as Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Compton Verney in Warwickshire, Chatsworth House in Derbyshire are the ones many of us will be familiar with. 

 The garden I'm going to be talking about is Syon Park. It sits directly opposite Kew Gardens It's one of Browns smaller garden spaces and lesser known but one of the best preserved.

Back in 2014 I met Susan Darling a garden historian whilst I was busily working on my exhibition at Siobhan Davies Dance. 

During this time we started discussing Brown 2016 as Susan was in the process of researching Capability Brown's garden at Syon. 
Susan was and still is methodically working through the archives on the Northumberland estate in Alnwick. Including the original receipts from the build and construction of the garden. Revealing an enormous amount information that wasn't formally known. 

That's one of the reasons Syon Park was so keen to host an exhibition this year.

Over the past year or so we have been exploring how this body of research could be presented in the form of an exhibition. 

Susan would have always been a key figure in this as the entire exhibition has come about from her own research. 
The uncertainty was my involvement and whether the initial ideas for this would be suitable.

In December 2015 after previous meetings, site visits and conversations, We proposed our ideas where a more formal presentation was arranged at Syon Park with head gardener Topher Martyn. 
From there on in we have started work to open the exhibition in May 2016. Exact dates are to be confirmed but I will be updating our work in progress over the next couple of months.

Follow the link below for more information about Brown and Syon and Susan's article written for the London Gardens Trust. 

Changing the Landscape: Capability Brown at Syon. 

Topher Martyn Head Gardener 
Susan Darling Garden Historian and researcher 
Kim Norton Curator and design
Ian Estevens Exhibition design