a landscape lover's blog

garden tales from a Brit at home and abroad

Category Archives: Cemeteries and monuments

Restoring decadence

Decadence is defined as moral or cultural decline as characterised by excessive indulgence in pleasure or luxury. In terms of Mughal design, Safdarjung’s Tomb in Delhi is a fine example … Continue reading

December 9, 2013 · 5 Comments

Two empty plinths

The death of former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher last week has led her supporters to cast around for ways to commemorate her. Ideas include a statue in some central … Continue reading

April 16, 2013 · 7 Comments

Ruined love…

… or why we should(n’t) put the nose back on the Sphinx. The merits –  or otherwise – of historical conservation was the subject of a splendid debate last week … Continue reading

March 17, 2012 · 12 Comments

Two memorials for the Mahatma

It was 64 years ago today that Mohandas Gandhi (known as Mahatma, the great soul) was murdered by a Hindu extremist, who believed Gandhi had been too sympathetic to the … Continue reading

January 30, 2012 · 9 Comments

Preserving memories

My favourite definition of the word preserve is to “to maintain or keep alive a memory or quality.” It sounds so simple – and yet in reality of course the … Continue reading

December 16, 2011 · 5 Comments

Old Mughal structures and new British lawns

In our first few weeks in India, we have seen several examples of ancient Hindu or Mughal architecture surrounded by gardens that turn out to be partly or largely twentieth … Continue reading

September 20, 2011 · 28 Comments

Paris from above

The tour Montparnasse is the only skyscraper in Paris. Whatever its architectural merit, its viewing terrace gives wonderful views over the capital. From above, you get a different sense of … Continue reading

June 2, 2011 · 9 Comments

Conserving abandon

The Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale on the edge of the Bois de Vincennes is a curious relic of France’s colonial past. Yesterday I joined Adam of Invisible Paris for a guided … Continue reading

April 10, 2011 · 10 Comments

Springtime in Paris

Next week I’m off to Philadelphia for a few days.  I’ll be speaking at a symposium at the UPenn School of Design, called Foreign Trends on American Soil. It promises … Continue reading

March 8, 2011 · 16 Comments

Tell-tale signs?

Signage. It sounds the most boring of topics. But in public parks and gardens, signs can make such a difference. Good ones make us feel welcome, confident, wanted. Bad ones leave … Continue reading

January 21, 2011 · 13 Comments

Square Louis XVI

The little park around the Chapelle Expiatoire on boulevard Haussman is traditionally planted with white flowers, in memory of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. So it was somehow fitting to … Continue reading

December 9, 2010 · 5 Comments

‘Stone surrounded by a dreadful thought’

The title of this post is poet Charles Baudelaire’s description of a graveyard. His own tombstone can be found in the cemetery in Montparnasse.  Opened in 1824, Montparnasse was one … Continue reading

November 17, 2010 · 2 Comments

Monuments and Memories

Is heritage about things or about people? Last Friday I attended a conference in London, organised by Europa Nostra and ICOMOS UK, which considered this question. Called “Monuments and Memories,” … Continue reading

September 21, 2010 · 3 Comments

Père Lachaise: where the French ‘made the grave a garden’

Today, the cemetery in the 20th arrondissement of Paris is best known as the final resting place for such luminaries as Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison. But it … Continue reading

June 15, 2010 · 5 Comments

Villa Madama

We were recently fortunate to visit the glorious sixteenth century Villa Madama, just north of Rome. Designed by Raphael, it was one of the finest Renaissance villas with its classically … Continue reading

June 10, 2010 · 13 Comments

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On Botanical Photography
Soiled and Seeded
Along Life's Highway

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