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A “meeting point of gardening and agriculture”: Dan Pearson’s new flower meadow at Compton Verney

July 9, 2015
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Dan Pearson with the yellow rattle in his new meadow

Recently I was lucky enough to enjoy Dan Pearson’s tour of his new flower meadow at Compton Verney in Warwickshire.

William Morris’s trellis pattern wallpaper inspired the meadow, which opened to coincide with the gallery’s Arts & Crafts House: Then and now exhibition. The straight lines in the trellis pattern influenced the meadow’s mown paths, while the informality of its wild flowers reflects the wallpaper’s rambling roses. The flower mix includes the semi-parasitic yellow rattle, which will help diminish the grass fertility, and create windows of opportunity for other flowers. Other species include wild carrot, ox eye daisy, wild red clover, tufted vetch and cowslips. Circles of annuals within the meadow, including poppies and corn cockles, represent the rose flowers seen on Morris’s pattern.

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Compton Verney’s meadow seen from the terrace

Dan explained that the meadow will go through several evolutions, before stabilising in around five years. The meadow will be cut at the end of the summer and the clippings removed to reduce fertility. There is even the possibility of sheep grazing it  over the winter. Dan aptly described the meadow as the “meeting point of gardening and agriculture”.

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Compton Verney House within it’s ‘Capability’ Brown landscape

Dan is the first garden designer to work at Compton Verney since Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown redesigned the landscape in the eighteenth century. Perhaps unusually for a piece of garden design, the meadow was crowdfunded by the public as an Art Fund Art Happens project. It’s well worth seeing over the summer, as is the related Arts and Crafts House exhibition.

*The Arts and Crafts House: Then and Now, Compton Verney, Warwickshire, 27 June to 13 Sept 2015

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