The Grounds Today
The gardens today have been re-modelled to the plans which can be seen in Nash’s Views to incorporate Nash’s serpentine path, which curves from the William IV Gate towards the Dome.
John Nash’s design for the gardens and grounds of the Royal Pavilion reflects the great revolution in landscape gardening that began in the 1730s. The previously fashionable formality of French-inspired gardens were banished, to be replaced with more natural grouping of trees, shrubs, and the creation of picturesque views.
The grounds have now been re-modelled to how they were at the time of George and William. The design was lost by uncontrolled tree growth and Victorian bedding.
The Pavilion was ‘cut off’ from the grounds by a tarmac road.
Irregular beds of mixed shrubs and flowers boarder the winding paths.
The accounts of the gardens were discovered at the Public Records office, apart from documenting the entire construction of the garden, they list every tree and shrub variety used within the grounds. All the trees and shrubs in the gardens are known to have been introduced to this country before 1825.
The choice of bulbs and herbaceous plants was more difficult as after 150 years of hybridisation, it is harder to identify exact modern day equivalents to Regency varieties. Therefore those closest in form and colour have been chosen.
The rules for this design of shrubberies, were described in two books (Sylva Florifera and Flora Historics) written by Henry Phillips, a local landscape gardener who planted part of the Kemptown estate in 1828. The accounts record the number of species of all plants delivered by John Willmot’s Lewisham Nursery.
A well planted shrubbery according to Phillips, depends upon contrasting shades of green for its permanent effect.
Look for the flowering almond trees, fragrant Daphne Adora and Daphne Mezereon, single and double flowered gorse, red-flowered heath (Erica Mediterranea), Camellia, Japanese Quince (Chaenomeles), Magnolia Tripetala and Jews Mallow (Kerria Japonica). Snowdrops, Primroses, Wild Daffodils, and Winter Hellebores should be in bloom at the front of the shrubberies and Yellow Crocus on the East Lawn.
Look for double pink Hawthorn blossom, Persian, Chinese and Common Lilacs (Syringa Persica, S. Chinensis and S. Vulargis) with Guelda Rose (Viburnum Opulus), flowering underneath the Laburnam trees; mounts of Spanish Broom (Genista Hispanica).