|Chiswick House Announces This Year's Camellia Festival|
Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Conservatory, Sir Peter Blake donates a print
This year's Chiswick House Camellia Festival will take place from February 16 to March 17 2013, in the spectacular setting of the 19th century Chiswick House Conservatory.
The Conservatory at Chiswick House Gardens was designed by Samuel Ware for the sixth Duke of Devonshire and completed in 1813. Ninety-six metres long, with a glazed dome at its centre and glass pavilions at either end, it was a forerunner of those designed by Decimus Burton at Kew and Sir Joseph Paxton at Chatsworth.
Picture; John Fielding
The Camellia Festival attracts visitors from all over the country to see the collection in full bloom, widely regarded as one of the finest in the country and certainly the oldest in the West. It includes rare and historically important examples of these beautiful plants, with a fabulous array of blooms; pink, red, white and striped. Many of these are descended from the original planting in 1828. Among these is the unique Middlemist’s Red, originally brought to Britain from China in 1804 by Londoner John Middlemist, a nurseryman from Shepherds Bush. It is one of only two in the world known to exist – the other being in Waitangi in New Zealand.
This year, as part of the 200th anniversary celebration, there will be an exhibition of early pictures and photographs showing the Conservatory through the centuries, culminating in its complete restoration in 2010.
Sir Peter Blake has donated an original watercolour of a Camellia, which will be made available as a print during the Festival, to raise funds for the Trust. The Camellia shop will sell a range of modern plants for home growers. It will also feature postcards and a limited edition Camellia bag designed by the acclaimed designer, Marthe Armitage, who also lives and works in Chiswick.
Throughout the Festival, there will be daily tours with expert festival guides, and a special display of contemporary Camellias, organised by specialist growers Trehane Nursery.
The Chiswick House Camellia Festival 2013
All funds raised help to support Chiswick House and Gardens Trust, a registered charity dedicated to the preservation and continued enhancement of the historic Chiswick House Gardens, open free to the public every day until dusk.
Camellias have been grown in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam as a garden plant for thousands of years. The name of ‘Camellia’ was given to the genus in the 18th century, in honour of Georg Josef Kamel, a Moravian Jesuit apothecary and botanist, who worked in the Far East.
January 29, 2013