Julia Grigg’s Morrab Miscellany

Julia Grigg portrait photo

Come with me on a stroll through the alphabet…

I’m newly arrived in Penzance, coming at last to settle in Cornwall. To where I have history: my maternal grandmother having been born on St Michael’s Mount. Living in the neighbourhood of Morrab Gardens, I’m delighted to be contributing this blog through 2021 to the Gardens’ website.

What’s the idea?

To issue the blog fortnightly, following the alphabet from A – Z, to write something each time that’s relevant and relatable – possibly unexpected – across the spectrum of all things gardening.

Each time there’ll be a quotation from a notable source and then – true to the spirit of a miscellany – a focus around perhaps a snippet of garden design and/or horticultural history, a personality, or perhaps a poem or a flowery artwork, or even to include a philosophical musing. Gardens encourage contemplation, after all…

A for Acclimatisation

Julia Grigg muses on how plants from around the world have acclimatised to thrive in Cornwall in the first of her Morrab Miscellany blog posts

B for Boscawen, Branwell and Bennetts

Continuing her stroll through the alphabet, Julia Grigg reaches B and finds exotic trees and shrubs, an inspirational aunt and a music-loving ship owner

C for City Gardens

Julia contemplates city gardens, the quiet green places that are so calming and a haven for those of us who live with limited outside space. From the ideas of an early eighteenth century visionary to an escape from the stress of the modern day, Julia shows how gardens can enhance well-being

D for DH Lawrence, Darwin and his Dogs

In Julia’s Morrab Miscellany through the alphabet we arrive at D, where we learn about DH Lawrence and the time he and his wife Frieda spent in West Cornwall, and how Charles Darwin’s beloved dogs helped him develop his influential ideas.

E for Exotic Eucalyptus trees

Eucalyptus trees are a notable feature of Morrab Gardens, and provide inspiration here for Julia Grigg’s Morrab Miscellany

F for the First Day of Spring

Julia Grigg celebrates the First day of Astronomical Spring, and a quintessentially English piece of music inspired by the sound of the First Cuckoo. And Spring in Cornwall is not complete without our flowers – particularly the daffodils that are sent ‘up country’ to give others a foretaste of the unfolding season.

G for Gardeners’ houses from Morrab to Sandringham

Taking her cue from the project to restore an unused building in Morrab Gardens, Julia takes a virtual tour of Gardeners’ houses – from modest cottages to the grandest estates – around Britain.

H for Hypatia and her heritage

From the brilliance of Hypatia in late antiquity to the achievements of 20th century women, Julia Grigg’s Morrab Miscellany starts in the cultural centre of the Mediterranean world and follows Hypatia’s heritage through to present-day West Penwith.

I for Inspiration found in Islamic or Paradise Gardens

Gardens have long been a place for reflection and contemplation, for seeking inspiration. In her Morrab Miscellany, Julia Grigg considers classic examples of a tranquil space, the Paradise Gardens, from their origins in ancient Persia to their adoption throughout the Islamic world and beyond.

J for Joe Palmese, Gertrude Jekyll and Henry James

In her Morrab Miscellany today, Julia Grigg writes about Morrab’s devoted Head Gardener, an influential lady gardener from the past, and one of our greatest authors who claimed to be hopeless about his garden – but clearly loved it.

William Kent – a pioneering garden designer with fresh and revolutionary ideas

Garden designers over the centuries have left a lasting legacy in their ideas and in the gardens they created. In this Morrab Miscellany, Julia writes about William Kent who used his talent and experience as an artist to revolutionise garden design 300 years ago.

Lilies and Pleached Limes

Reaching L in her Morrab Miscellany, Julia Grigg enjoys the heady scent of lilies, explores the landscapes of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and admires the pleached limes at Sissinghurst.

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