Osborne House (EH)

  • osbornehouse

Garden Category: South Central England

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  • The 19th-century gardens and estate eventually covered more than 2,000 acres (800 hectares). The current estate extends to 354 acres (143 hectares) and includes formal terraces with statuary, a walled garden and extensive parkland. Queen Victoria’s seaside retreat, Osborne House was built by Prince Albert, who was also very instrumental in the layout of the grounds. He even directed the planting of trees by semaphore. The gardens are marked by Italianate terraces, elegant statuary and fountains. The parterres on the terrace, which have been restored to their original appearance, were interspersed with statuary and were framed by formal walkways of coloured imitation lava. A rich variety of bedding plants were used: Queen Victoria writes in her journal of geraniums, stocks and heliotropes and the summer evening air scented with orange blossom and roses. Many of these plants are used today in seasonal bedding schemes. Within the 18th-century walled kitchen garden the original cross-path layout has been restored, and a garden was added in 2000 to the design of Rupert Golby as part of the Contemporary Heritage Garden project. It incorporates many plants with names associated with Victoria or Albert, in a contemporary planting style.

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