a landscape lover's blog

garden tales from a Brit at home and abroad

Category Archives: India

Spring running lightly all over the world

In the two-thousand-year-old Sanskrit epic poem Ramayana, Hanuman the monkey god encourages a group of bears to join him in a Wine Forest. Soon the animals are drunk, “a mob … Continue reading

March 13, 2015 · 8 Comments

An ancient landscape

In Rajasthan’s Pali district, slabs of granite loom up from the earth, sculpted by complex chemical interactions, wind and weather. Scattered around are the few shrubs and trees that can … Continue reading

January 29, 2015 · 9 Comments

The London Olympic Park

The start of the World Cup tomorrow has been overshadowed by concerns about the readiness of the infrastructure, and hostility from many Brazilians to their government spending so much money on … Continue reading

June 11, 2014 · 2 Comments

How naughty we have been

I am delighted to have joined the rosta of writers at ThinkinGardens, a British website eager to encourage serious, stimulating and critical writing about designed landscapes. My first piece is Worthy … Continue reading

January 20, 2014 · 2 Comments

A million first steps

As you might expect, the British Library has an extraordinary wealth of archive material, including much that is essential study for the serious landscape historian. Its strap line, with some … Continue reading

December 19, 2013 · 7 Comments

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

Architecture enhancing nature

Joseph Allen Stein was a twentieth century American architect who spent much of his professional life in India. I have written before about his work at the India Habitat Centre, … Continue reading

November 26, 2013 · 5 Comments

Faith in the future

Born from the trauma of partition, the northern Indian city of Chandigarh, in the Himalayan foothills, was designed as a model city and a decisive break with India’s colonial past. … Continue reading

November 5, 2013 · 4 Comments

Plant Hunting in Kashmir

I am delighted this month to have co-authored an article in Soiled and Seeded, a splendid on-line garden magazine that aims to provide “a rich and eclectic source of ideas, learned practices, history and … Continue reading

September 7, 2013 · 3 Comments

Mughal gardens, Kashmir

One of the best and most beautiful expressions of Mughal culture is its gardens. Sadly, few examples survive, but among the finest are the terraced gardens in the Kashmir valley. … Continue reading

May 23, 2013 · 20 Comments

Growing vegetables in Heaven

Kashmir is a beautiful state of fertile valleys, rivers and lakes surrounded by mountains so steep, high and snow-capped that it looks as if a child has drawn them. So … Continue reading

May 10, 2013 · 16 Comments

Of spice and tea

As someone who came to the study of landscape history from a love of flowers and gardening, I write surprisingly little about horticulture. So, to make amends, this whole post … Continue reading

April 28, 2013 · 7 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

Lunch with the Galloping Gardener

One of the pleasures of blogging is the people you get to meet – both virtually and in person. I was delighted a few days ago to lunch with Charlotte … Continue reading

April 3, 2013 · 5 Comments

A lake garden

This is Kesar Kyari Bagh on Maota Lake, part of the Amber Fort complex near Jaipur. It was created around 1600 for the women of the harem to admire from above. … Continue reading

March 23, 2013 · 9 Comments

The Rock Garden, Chandigarh

It started in 1965 as an illegal development on protected forest land. Its creator was inspired by Le Corbusier’s use of concrete in the city of Chandigarh, yet what he … Continue reading

February 23, 2013 · 11 Comments

Early Mughal myths

Ask a garden-lover what they know about Mughal gardens and the likelihood is that, pretty soon, they will say something about them being paradise gardens, a foretaste of the celestial … Continue reading

May 25, 2012 · 8 Comments

Discover other landscape lover articles on these sites:

On Botanical Photography
Soiled and Seeded
Along Life's Highway

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