Conifers: Their Ornamental Use in Gardens and Parkland in and around Bowness-on-Windermere 1847–1914

Jane Roberts, JR (2020) Conifers: Their Ornamental Use in Gardens and Parkland in and around Bowness-on-Windermere 1847–1914. Doctoral thesis, University of Cumbria.

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Abstract

There are only three conifers that are native to Britain: Pinus sylvestris L. — Scots pine, Juniperus communis L. — juniper, and Taxus baccata L. — yew. Yet by the end of the nineteenth century, there were several hundred different species and numerous cultivars being grown in their thousands for ornamental purposes in gardens and parkland throughout the country and particularly in and around Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria. This thesis examines why this area became a Mecca for ornamental conifer planting, which species were favoured and why — by analysing their aesthetic and morphological characteristics — and how this was influenced by the introduction of new species and the development of gardens and the different designs they underwent prior to and during 1847–1914. The opinions of the day, often influenced by cultural changes such as those instigated by the picturesque and Romantic movements, are also discussed in relation to how conifers were viewed and appreciated in the wider context of the aesthetic qualities of the natural landscape of the Lake District.
From historical documents, extensive fieldwork, and detailed case studies, this thesis will show that the fashion for conifers occurred in Bowness several decades after they were fashionable elsewhere, and that this was due to a set of coincidental circumstances; that there were very diverse attitudes regarding native and introduced conifers; and that the garden designer, Thomas Mawson (1861–1933), made a significant contribution to conifer plantings in the area. It will also be shown that there is some evidence to indicate that different species were favoured, and planted in a different manner, in the various styles of gardens prevalent in Bowness during the research period.

Item Type: Thesis/Dissertation (Doctoral)
Departments: Outdoor Studies
Depositing User: JANE ROBERTS
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2020 11:12
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2020 15:44
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/5565

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