If you have time why not find out more about the Tradescent family who were designing gardens before the famous Lancelot "Capability" Brown. Their story (see below) is quite extraordinary.
Tradescant the Elder (c. 1570s - 1638), father of John Tradescant the younger, was an English naturalist, gardener, collector and traveller, probably born in Suffolk, England. He began his career as head gardener to Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury at Hatfield House, who initiated Tradescant in travelling by sending him to the low Countries for fruit trees in 1610/11. He was kept on by Robert's son William, to produce gardens at the family's London house, Salisbury House. He then designed gardens on the site of St Augustine's Abbey for Edward Lord Wotton in 1615-23. In 1630, he was engaged by King Charles 1 to be Keeper of his Majesty’s Gardens vines and Silkworms at his queen’s palace, Oatlands Palace in Surrey
HATFIELD HOUSE SALISBURY HOUSE OATLANDS PALACE
On all his trips he collected seeds and bulbs everywhere and also assembled a collection of curiosities of natural history and ethnography which he housed in a large house, "The Ark", in Lambeth, London. The Ark was the prototypical "Cabinet of Curiosity ", a collection of rare and strange objects, that became the first museum open to the public in England, the Museum Tradescantianum.
The MusaeumTradescantianum was the first museum open to the public to be established in England. Located in Vauxhall in south London, it comprised a collection of curiosities assembled by John Tradescant the elder and his son in a building called The Ark, and a botanical collection in the grounds of the building.
He also gathered specimens through American colonists and with his friend (John Smith) and his son and introduced many plants into English gardens that have become part of the modern gardener's repertory. A genus of flowering plants (Tradescantia) is named to honour him. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
John Tradescant the Younger 1608 – 1662), son of John Tradescant the elder, was a botanist and gardener, born in Meopham, Kent and educated at The Kings School, Canterbury.
Like his father, who collected specimens and rarities on his many trips abroad, John undertook collecting expeditions to Virginia between 1628 and 1637. Among the seeds he brought back, to introduce to English gardens were great American trees, like Magnolias, Tulip Tree, and garden plants such as phlox and asters. When his father died, he succeeded as head gardener to Charles 1 and Henrietta Maria of France.
MAGNOLIA TULIP TREE PHLOX ASTER
John the Younger was laid to rest along side Tradescant the Eldein the churchyard of St-Mary-at-Lambeth, as was his son John. The churchyard is now established as the Garden Museum.