Our plan is to create a mown parterre (a formal garden) based on the designs of legendary English designer William Morris. The parterre will live within a wild-flower meadow developed by leading landscape designer Dan Pearson.
Dan Pearson will be the first garden designer to have worked on the grounds at Compton Verney since Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in the 18th century, and the project will complement our summer 2015 exhibition The Arts & Crafts House – which will also feature William Morris's work.
The meadow will be a striking sight when viewed from the gallery and will provide an immersive experience for visitors of all ages who journey through it. It will also provide a gateway to the rest of our historic grounds.
The meadow will have a long-lasting legacy, encouraging new species of native wild flowers, which were of particular interest to William Morris. We will work with volunteers and grounds staff to re-populate the meadow with the new species for the project. This process will allow different interpretations of the exhibition and grounds.
The project will provide not only a captivating experience for visitors, but will also be hugely beneficial for the local wildlife.
About the artist
Dan has an innate understanding of how plants relate to their surroundings and natural growing conditions, and was one of the earliest contemporary practitioners of naturalistic perennial planting in the UK. He has worked on high-profile public gardens and landscapes, including Tokachi Millennium Forest in Hokkaido, Maggie’s Centre at Charing Cross Hospital in London and Broughton Hall in Yorkshire. He has also completed many private garden commissions.
He is currently working on the landscaping and planting for the new Thomas Heatherwick-designed Garden Bridge that will cross the River Thames in London. He has been a gardening columnist for over 20 years and has written for The Observer magazine since 2006.