Chaumont Crosses the Channel
Westonbirt Festival of the Garden, 2004.
By Robert Holden
Thirteen gardens occupy a meadow in the west of England. Each garden is small and cheap and temporary ("small" meaning 200 square meters maximum, "cheap" meaning about £15,000, and "temporary" as in open for three months from June to September). This is the Westonbirt Festival of the Garden at the Forestry Commission's Arboretum in Gloucestershire, a county about a hundred miles west of London.
The third established annual major garden festival of this type, it began in 2002. The first festival was the one that began in 1992 at Chaumont in the Loire valley in France. It was followed in 2000 by the Canadian Les Jardins de Métis in Québec, Canada (see "When Is a Garden Not a Garden?" Landscape Architecture, October 2003). New this year is the Cornerstone Festival of Gardens in Sonoma, California, the first in the United States.
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