Chiswick House Camellia Festival
Following a £12 million restoration, the gardens and restored 19th Century Conservatory at Chiswick House, West London celebrates the Queen of the Winter Flower-the Camellia.
William George Spencer Cavendish, the sixth Duke of Devonshire, bought Camellias to Chiswick in 1828, following the construction of one of the last great lean to conservatories in Great Britain before the introduction of free standing glass houses. Designed by Samuel Ware, the conservatory is ninety-six metres long, with a glazed dome at its centre and glass pavilions at either end.
In decay and badly in need of restoration, the magnificent Conservatory which has never been open to the public before, open its doors from the 19th – 20th of March for the Chiswick House Camellia Festival.
Regarded as a National treasure due to the rare and arguably one of the oldest collections of Camellias in the Western World, these wonderful plants have been lovingly nurtured and brought back to health by a steady stream of volunteers and members of the Chiswick House and Gardens Trust.
The collection includes one of the rarest surviving examples of Camellias, Middlemist’s Red. The only other living example is in New Zealand.
Visitors to the festival will have full access to the Conservatory, a free illustrated guide detailing the history and development of Camellias as well as specialist guides and expert guidance. There will also be the opportunity to buy selected plants from the specialist Trehane nursery in Dorset.
Claudia de Yong
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