Journal of Loyal Johnson relating to his tour of gardens in Great Britain with Sam Brewster

Scope and Content

Summary of journal narrative, pages 3-243:

(21 Jul continued) To Lichfield by bicycle; Lichfield Cathedral

(22 Jul) Evensong at Lichfield Cathedral

(23 Jul) To Birmingham by bicycle; Birmingham Cathedral; to Kenilworth by bicycle; Kenilworth Castle ruins; to Warwick by bicycle; staying with the Pridays; a bicycle tour of Warwick; picking peas at the Pridays’ allotment

(24 Jul) Guy’s Cliff House; Pumphouse Park, Leamington; Warwick Castle; St Mary’s Church, Warwick; playing tennis

(25 Jul) Leicester Hospital; to Stratford-on-Avon by bicycle; Sam reunited with his camera; Stratford, including Shakespeare’s house, birthplace and burial place; Anne Hathaway’s cottage

(26 Jul) Compton Wynyates (Fred Good, gardener); rural or non-existent roads; Weston House, unoccupied, with gardens given over to market gardening and a scout camping ground; Dick Whittington’s birthplace; Long Compton; thatched roofs and a horse-drawn plough; Little Compton; arranging to visit Blenheim Palace (Mr Thompkins, head gardener)

(27 Jul) Tour of Blenheim Palace pleasure gardens (W. Hollis, foreman), with French garden, parterre, topiary, pool and fountain, and sketch of cross section of garden; costs of trimming the hedges at Blenheim; construction underway of a new terrace garden with pools and fountains; trees at Blenheim; to Oxford by bicycle in the rain

(28 Jul) Oxford Botanic Garden; Magdalen College, with meadow and Addison’s Walk; cricket at Merton College; Oxford University Museum; Wadham College quadrangle; St John’s College; Balliol College; Trinity College; Bodleian Library; Radcliffe Camera; All Souls College; no letters for them; calling too late at the tailors (where their suits were being cleaned) so having no good clothes for Sunday

(29 Jul) Feeling constrained without their suits; Christ’s Church, Oxford; New Walk; Broad Walk

(30 Jul) Posting home guide books and films; All Souls College Chapel; New College; paying dearly for their suit cleaning; to Fairford by bicycle; Fairford Estate, with Dutch garden, Campanula percyphyllum and trout river; to Cricklade by bicycle in the rain

(31 Jul) Bowood House lodge; an uncordial reception by the Bowood House agent; Bowood House (Mr Knight and Mr Giles, gardeners), with its pinetum, broad walk, lake, pleasure gardens, fountains and park with Angus cattle; the white horse carved in the hillside; to Westbury and Frome by bicycle; meeting a wireless salesman

(1 Aug) Longleat, with its rose garden arches of Arbor-vitae, parterres, lakes, cascades and tennis court; Amberdown Park, near Radstock (Mr Saunders, gardener), with its Italian garden, pool, statuary, and the gardener’s gift of peaches; St Catherine’s Court, Batheaston, with its chapel, stone and oak pergola under construction, terrace, pool, mill stones, children’s play lawn, fine entrance gates, and the gardener’s recipe for killing daisies in a lawn; to Bath and Bristol by bicycle; bypassing Barrow Court; to Clevedon

(2 Aug) Sam unwell; Clevedon Court (Mr Wickens, gardener), with beautiful pines and beech trees, octagonal house with Elton ware (established by Sir Edmund Elton); sketched cross section of the rear garden; Clevedon, its mud beach and view to Wales; climbing the hill behind the house with view of the Bristol Channel

(3 Aug) To Cheddar by bicycle; Cox’s Cave; Wells Cathedral with its painted vaulting; to Taunton by bicycle

(4 Aug) Hestercombe House (J. Glasheen, gardener), with South American species, stonework, orangery, wooded hill, Dutch garden, croquet and tennis lawns, terrace of scented plants, canal terraces, pergola, kitchen garden and fruit trees; Bradfield House (Mr Piper, gardener), with Dutch garden, boating and swimming pool, woods, formal garden with statuary, rustic tea house and Japanese garden; to Exeter by bicycle

(5 Aug) Exeter Cathedral; a tour of Exeter on foot; crossing the Exe on a hand-powered ferry; Killerton Park with rose garden and extensive park and outdoor palms; writing by candlelight; Rougemont Park

(6 Aug) Montacute House (Mr Gold, gardener), with kitchen garden and sunken garden; Brimpton House, with impressive entrance drive, terrace, natural pond and pasture; to Yeovil by bicycle

(7 Aug) Athelhampton Hall, Puddletown, shown around by the owner, with forecourt, gravel drive, woodland walks, dove cote, rose garden, walled gardens and sketch of pool with fountains; tour of the house; to Blandford by bicycle

(8 Aug) Cranborne Manor, with perennial beds, fruit trees, forecourt, and sketch of ‘peculiar terracing’; Rockbourne village; to Salisbury by bicycle; refused entrance to Wilton House gardens; Longford Castle (Mr Tucker, gardener), with 88 viola beds, kitchen gardens, flower borders and river, and sketch of Italian-style garden; Salisbury Cathedral, with sketch of column; to Winchester by bicycle

(9 Aug) Winchester Cathedral; Farnham Castle (A. Grover, gardener), with sundials and garden on top of the keep

(10 Aug) To Guildford by bicycle; Feathercombe (A. Walker, gardener), with heath garden, rhododendron walks, tennis court and sketch of the terrace; to Liphook by bicycle; Little Boarhunt (A. Chuter, gardener), with white pigeons, hospitable owner, and sketch of stone pergola; the Devil’s Punch Bowl; Westbrook, Godalming (Mr Farr, gardener), with Dutch sunken garden, octagonal pool, multiple gardens and tennis court; Munstead House (Mr Sherlock, gardener), with woodland walks; Munstead Wood, its appearance like an experimental garden, and Mr Sherlock’s observation of Gertrude Jekyll, ‘She’s a kind of funny old biddie, and don’t want anyone to see her’; refused entry to Orchards (Mr Mortimer, gardener); to Guildford by bicycle

(11 Aug) To Stamford Bridge by train; attending the 1928 athletic competition British Empire vs United States of America (related newspaper cutting pasted in at p116)

(12 Aug) Bicycle maintenance; Guildford Castle

(13 Aug) Sutton Place (Mr Kirkwood, gardener), with golf course, perennial borders, woods, statuary, rock garden, wild garden, bathing pool, and sketch of rose garden and water garden; the requirement to register as visitors as two months were up; Great Tangley Manor, near Shalford (Mr Manning, gardener), with moat, covered walk and lime avenue; Polesden Lacey, Bookham (Mr Twinn, gardener), with beech avenue, Jersey cows, statuary, rose garden, thatched bridge, vegetable garden, well head and sun dial; to Warnham by bicycle

(14 Aug) Warnham Court (C.F. Crump, gardener), with informal turf walks, views and fantail pigeons; to Horsham by bicycle; Sedgwick Place (Mr Muddell, gardener), with enclosed water garden, rock garden, and Japanese features including lanterns and pagoda; to Cuckfield and Haywards Heath by bicycle; Old Place, Lindfield (Mr Elder, gardener), with yew hedges, bridge resembling a garden house, lawn and borders, hollyhocks and ‘old fashioned flowers’; Gravetye Manor (Mr Martham [Markham], gardener), with flagstones and ramps for William Robinson’s wheelchair; Homestall Place, near East Grinstead (Mr Sarsons, gardener), with 2½ acre rock garden with cascades and mossy pools, stepping stones, varied foliage, formal sunken garden, well head and sketch of the garden; Brockhurst Place (Mr Taylor, gardener), with informal gardens, rhododendrons, ferns, rose garden, natural spring, pools and bathing pool, dozen orchid houses, famous rock garden, and description of orchid seed germination on jelly; to Forest Row by bicycle

(15 Aug) Buckhurst Manor, Withyham (J.T. Philpott, gardener), with hemispherical pool, sundial, lake, waterfall, informal areas, and sketch of the terrace garden; Berr’s Wood, Groombridge (R. MacDonald, gardener), with turf terrace with room for six tennis courts, rose beds, informal walks, rhododendrons, heaths, slope with spring-flowering shrubs and Japanese maples, rocks, variegated plants, bathing pool, garden house and vines; to Penshurst by bicycle; [Penshurst Place] (S.S. Stacey, gardener), somewhat dilapidated, with hedges, sundial, kitchen garden and moat; to Northiam by bicycle; Great Dixter, with pool, water lilies, hop kiln, and sketch of sunken garden; shown over by Nathaniel Lloyd and reprimanded for taking sketches and photographs without permission; to Rolvenden by bicycle

(16 Aug) Great Maytham (Mr Carvell, gardener, and Mr Monk, garden foreman), with gate house, clock tower, kitchen garden, iris garden, pool, and sketch of the rose garden; Tancrey, Sturry (Mr Bowman, gardener); Canterbury, the Cathedral and King’s School; Kent County war memorial, Canterbury, with mulberry trees; to Sittingbourne by bicycle

(17 Aug) Rochester Cathedral; Cobham Hall (Mr Cuckney, gardener), with fountain, pool and well head; Ightham Mote, with moat, cascade and fantail pigeons; Knowle Park, Sevenoaks (Mr Stubbs, gardener), with cases and urns, concentric circles of limes and fantail pigeons

(18 Aug) To London by bicycle; securing lodgings

(19 Aug) Writing journal and letters

(20 Aug) Registering with the police; the National Gallery; food shopping at Woolworths

(21 Aug) Regents Park with Royal Botanic Garden and Zoological Garden

(22 Aug) Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, with lake, Chinese pagoda, flagpole, Japanese gateway, palm house, museums and temperate house

(23 Aug) American Consulate and American Embassy; Buckingham Palace; walking through London; Westminster Abbey and Chapter House

(24 Aug) Writing, arranging finances and visit to the theatre

(25 Aug) Hyde Park Corner, St James’s Palace and Whitehall; inside the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Hall; the Tate Gallery, with sketches of designs on the gallery floors; Westminster Cathedral, with incomplete chapels and climb to the top of the tower; St Paul’s Cathedral, with reconstruction and restoration underway, exhibition of manuscripts, Whispering Gallery, ‘Great Paul’ bell and evensong

(26 Aug) Kings Cross; to Hampton Court Palace by bus, with maze, ‘Long Water’, fountain, pond garden, great vine and palace interior

(27 Aug) Foyles book shop; Crystal Palace by train, rather dilapidated, with statuary and climb to top of the North Tower; to London Bridge by train; Tower of London

(28 Aug) Aldenham House (Edwin Beckett, gardener) by bicycle, with vine grown along hanging chains, two-mile avenue of trees, artificial rocks, ‘garden house’ of hornbeam and copper beech with windows and door cut out, lily pool in the form of a Maltese cross, bowling green, phlox and dahlia collections and 50-acre arboretum; to St Albans by bicycle; St Albans Cathedral; Hatfield House (Mr Hall, gardener), with sunken garden, fountain, pool, lime pergola, sundial garden, artificial lake, lavender and rose garden and yew maze; to Stevenage by bicycle

(29 Aug) Temple Dinsley (Mr Austin, gardener), with artificial lake, rose garden, perennial garden, sunken water garden, lily garden, tennis courts, croquet lawn, pergola, orchard, woods and kitchen gardens; to Cambridge by bicycle; Christ’s College, with swimming pool; Emmanuel College, with swan pool and swimming pool; Downing College; Fitzwilliam Museum; Pembroke College; Corpus Christi College; St Catherine’s College; Queen’s College

(30 Aug) Sidney Sussex College; Trinity College, with fountain and sundial; Trinity Hall library; Clare College; Kings College, with view from the roof; Magdalen College; Castle Hill; St John’s College; Gonville and Caius College; Church of St Mary the Great; second visit to Queen’s College and Pembroke College; St Benedict’s Church; Church of the Holy Sepulchre; Jesus College

(31 Aug) To Ely by bicycle; Ely Cathedral; to St Ives and Newport Pagnell by bicycle

(1 Sep) Gayhurst (George Whiting, gardener), with yew and stone hedges, Dutch garden, sundial, lily pond and rose garden; to Aylesbury by bicycle; Parkwood, near Henley (W.E. Hewitt, gardener); to Reading by bicycle

(2 Sep) A tour of Reading on foot

(3 Sep) Folly Farm, Sulhamstead (C.L. Cawkell, gardener), with covered walk, long pool, blue garden, bird bath and sunken garden; to Reading by bicycle; Sutton Nursery seed trial grounds; to Maidenhead by bicycle; Cliveden Estate, Taplow (Mr Cram, head gardener), with long garden, winding walks, memorial cemetery for wounded First World War soldiers who died there when it was a military hospital, yew tree walk, Italian garden, Italian fountain, sunken garden and tennis court; Dropmore (F. Reed, gardener), with fine collection of conifers and Chinese pottery; to Windsor by bicycle

(4 Sep) Windsor Castle, with Italian garden; to Kensington Park by bicycle; Kensington Palace, with sunken garden and alley of limes with window-like openings; errands in London

(5 Sep) Preparing the bicycles for sale; Public Record Office; British Museum; selling his bicycle for £2

At front and rear of the volume are notes relating to the trip comprising:

Page 1: Index to the volume

Pages 244, 250-247 and 272-267: Expense account

Pages 246-245 and 259-256: Plant materials

Pages 255-251 and 265-260: Picture memorandum (record of photographs taken)

Pages 266 and 273: Addresses

Page 274: Interesting books

Pasted in at page 2 are an extract from Wordsworth’s ‘Inside of King’s College Chapel’ and a map of the London Underground

Lists of photographs identifying subject and date taken: AA1-6, AB1-6, AC1-6, AD1-6, AE1-6, AF1-12, AG1-12, AH1-12, AI1-12, AJ1-12, AK1-12, AL1-6, AM1-12, AN1-6, AO1-6, AP1-6, AQ1-6, AR1-6, AS1-6, AT1-6, AU1-6, AV1-6, AW1-6, AX1-6, AY1-6, AZ1-6, BA1-6, BB1-6

251 numbered pages (r and v numbered)

Condition: Unfit for production: use surrogate. Spine is splitting away from text block and front end paper is detached; most of spine cover is missing, possibly; corners of covers are showing signs of wear; edges of paper are in fair condition; tear at p241-242; contents are written in pencil. Awaiting conservation

All pages of this journal are available on iBase, image numbers LIB0005099-LIB00050241