On Home Turf

If Britain is a nation of gardeners, you might expect plenty of British stamps on the theme. Horticulture, landscaping, wildlife and literature all play their part

Report by Jeff Dugdale


1990 Kew Gardens 20p, illustrating a cycad in front of the Sir Joseph Banks building


British people are renowned for loving their gardens, and this can be a surprisingly large theme, depending upon how wide you want to cast your net. Besides an attractive array of stamps celebrating famous gardens, there are others illustrating the flora and fauna associated with them, adding up to more than 30 sets you might consider.

The first complete issue on this theme was a 1983 set of four called British Gardens, featuring famous examples from four different centuries. The 17th century was represented by Pitmedden in Aberdeenshire, established by the family of Sir Alexander Seton and noted for its geometric parterres. From the 18th century came the garden of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, designed by Sir John Vanbrugh for the 1st Duke of Marlborough and now a classic example of the English landscape garden movement. Representing the 19th century was Biddulph Grange, a landscaped and themed set of gardens near Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, developed by James Bateman, who made his fortune in heavy industry but became an accomplished horticulturist. Selected for the 20th century was Sissinghurst Castle garden in Kent, which was created in the 1930s by the poet and author Vita Sackville-West and her husband, the politician and diplomat Harold Nicolson.

Read the full article in Stamp Magazine September 2017

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