New Head Gardener for Chiswick House Grounds

Fiona Crumley to lead revitalisation of estate's open spaces

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Fiona Crumley

Chiswick House and Gardens Trust

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The regeneration of the 18th century Chiswick House Gardens has come a step closer with the appointment of Fiona Crumley as the new head gardener.

Fiona, who was the first woman head gardener of Chelsea Physic Gardens, said: “With all the regeneration work at hand, this is an especially exciting time to join the team at Chiswick House Gardens. It’s such an expansive and beautiful estate with major historic, architectural and landscape significance. With long straight alleys leading to unexpected views, it’s unlike any other public park!”

The position became available due to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) which has earmarked £7.6 million (as well as awarding a £281,000 development grant) as part of the £12.1 million restoration project to revitalise and restore the historic gardens, landscapes and paths.

Janie Burford, a trustee and member of the interview board, said: “We are very excited to welcome Fiona on board. It’s the first time in many years that we have had such an experienced and enthusiastic horticulturist on site. Her early priority is to work closely with the contractors and Goosefoot Volunteers to improve the presentation of the park and gardens. Fiona will play a crucial role within the team driving forward the renaissance of Chiswick House Gardens.”

Finoa has had 14 years experience working at the Chelsea Physic Garden, three years at the privately owned Newby Hall garden in North Yorkshire, and a one year placement with London Borough of Enfield Parks Department. In her free time Fiona is the secretary to the Merlin Trust – Grants for Young Horticulturists, she is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society Herbaceous Plant Committee, member of the RHS Herbaceous Trials Committee, Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, member of the Twickenham & Thames Valley Beekeeping Association and much more.

The third Earl of Burlington (1694-1753), with the help of William Kent, originally designed the gardens, drawing inspiration from his ‘grand tours’ of Italy. The classic Italianate gardens encapsulate early 18th century garden design, perfectly complementing Chiswick House. Features include an obelisk, temple, amphitheatre, cascade and wilderness, as well as a gateway originally designed by Inigo Jones in 1621 and erected at Chiswick in 1738. Classical busts, sphinxes, columns and an exedra helped to re-create the landscape of antiquity. William Kent designed a rustic cascade and gently serpentined canal.

Developed over 400 years, the landscape contains areas of great historical interest displaying the work of other famous garden designers such as Bridgeman and Samuel Lapidge. The house itself is considered one of the world’s most glorious examples of Neo-Palladian design, of exceptional architectural purity.

The Chiswick House and Gardens Trust was established in April 2005 by English Heritage and the London Borough of Hounslow to integrate the management of the House and Gardens.

April 6, 2007