The Lost Italian Garden of Great Ambrook

Finalist - Beautiful Gardens

Photo 1: The Lost Italian Garden of Great Ambrook


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Portfolio details - The Lost Italian Garden of Great Ambrook

Photographer: Vicki Gardner
Competition: Competition-14
Location: Great Ambrook, Devon, England, United Kingdom

The Lost Italian Garden of Great Ambrook by Vicki Gardner

The Grade II listed Italian Garden at Great Ambrook is a stunning example of Italianate design by architect Thomas Henry Lyon for the original owner Arthur Smith Graham in 1912. Because he was gay, Graham chose a secluded location, so that the garden provided a refuge for him and his friends to relax and socialise without restraint – which would otherwise have not been possible in greater society in those days. Over the years, the garden has fallen into neglect with the recent owners having bought it in 2016. Their plan is to retain much of the original charm and 'lost' feeling while conserving this historic garden for further generations.

I am lucky enough to be the garden photographer, responsible for documenting the garden as it goes through the change from 'lost' to conserved. These images are from my earliest visits to the garden before much work had been undertaken. I fell in love with the garden as soon as I saw it and feel immensely privileged to have documented it. I chose monochrome because it felt right to have a timeless aspect to the images, reflecting the age and history of the garden itself.


Finalist, Portfolio - Competition-14

Beautiful Gardens