Tag Archives: Gary Webb

Walking through a William Morris meadow

Did you encounter Dan Pearson’s ‘William Morris’ meadow at Compton Verney this year? Now the dust has settled and the wild flowers have been cropped, I thought I’d take a look back through poppy tinted spectacles to see what valuable lessons were learned.

Parterre image by Jamie Woodley © Compton Verney 2015

Parterre image by Jamie Woodley © Compton Verney 2015

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Landscape & Garden Research at Compton Verney

Many people love the landscape and garden at Compton Verney, but how much do we really know about it? Its creation must have touched, impacted and influenced many people, but how was it developed and who exactly brought about such dramatic change? Who paid the bills, dug the pools, planted the trees, and what was the motivation?

We do know Continue reading

Exploring other aspects of Compton Verney

Compton Verney offers many things to many people, be it the permanent collections or the present British Folk Art exhibition. There’s also the extremely wide range and offer of educational activities, talks and workshops and a great cafe and restaurant! The outside environment however (as you’d expect if you know Compton Verney) holds other aspects to explore. Continue reading

Capability Brown Festival Update – Compton Verney

On Monday this week I ventured down to the capital for a workshop with a difference, titled New Ways of Looking at Brown. ‘Capability’ Brown was the subject of course, around which we learned from a range of speakers of some of the diverse projects that are springing up, with encouragement from the CB300 festival committee.


New Ways of Looking at Brown

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Sowing Wild Flower Seed

It has been a while since the last grounds team update and for good reason – we’ve been too busy! All will be revealed below, but suffice to say that the weather has played a major part, as always, in dictating our work pattern.


This image shows the grass almost entirely strimmed to the ground – a good days work with our trusty 4 stroke Honda strimmer which didn’t miss a beat. © Compton Verney / Gary Webb 2014

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West Lawn Weeds Need Your Help!

After all: “A weed is just a wild flower in the wrong place”.


To present a garden, and in my case a landscape garden in a certain way requires finding a balance, a balance between what we actively plant in terms of ornamentals, but more widely, considering a balance in terms of the ‘weeds’ we retain as wild flowers. Does this make sense? Continue reading

The Figure in the Estate.

I am honoured to have been invited by Laurent Châtel to the Maison Française d’Oxford tomorrow to represent Compton Verney in a seminar titled: The Figure in the Estate – The Rôle of Gardeners and Stewards in the Designing of Landscapes. The seminar is open to visitors, please click on the link above for more information.

The seminar is taking place between 10:45am and 4:30pm at the Norham Road base, and from a garden and landscape history perspective, it looks to be a fascinating day. Key players in the line up are Sarah Law and Susanne Seymour, Nottingham University, Sally O’Halloran, Sheffield University and Clare Bucknell, All Souls College, Oxford. Towards the end of the day, I shall be joining Glyn Jones (Hidcote), Nick Lightfoot (The Vyne), and Barry Smith (Stowe), in a discussion titled: ‘From The National Trust Head gardener’s Point of View : Current Practice – Consensus or Dissensus?‘ Of course, I shall be trying my best to hold a candle up to Compton Verney, moreso in the presence of such notable National Trust gardeners – wish me luck!

 Gary Webb, 

Head of Landscape and Gardens, Compton Verney