Cut flowers return to Wardington Manor, new book out.

Cut flower gardeners, Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld from THE LAND GARDENERS supply some of London’s top florists from their walled garden at Wardington Manor. They have released a beautiful new book to inspire cut flower growing, the importance of composting and soil health.

Gathering dahlias in the early morning. Photographer Clare Richardson

When The Land Gardeners arrived at Wardington Manor, the cutting gardens had lain dormant for over thirty years. The Arts and Crafts gardens meandering around the Jacobean manor house had once provided cut flowers for London society.

This is the story of how these gardeners revived the cutting gardens, growing and gathering glorious blooms for florists and homes and bringing the manor and gardens alive with their floral circus.

Their buckets of blowsy dahlias and silky peonies, long trails of roses and metre-tall tulips evoke an almost other-worldly era of glamour.

Rose blooms in tiny jugs, individually labelled for teaching a workshop. Photographer Clare Richardson

It is a book to inspire others to create their own cutting gardens, with an introduction to The Land Gardeners’ favourite flowers and expert knowledge on how to grow and what to gather by season.

Partially digested compost after five weeks in our compost windrow. Photographer Clare Richardson

The book also focuses on their beliefs on growing organically and on soil health – which is central to all of their work.

The Land Gardeners Cut Flowers is a glamorous and timeless cut-flower book and a beautiful visual diary of life in the garden. 

About the authors

Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld both trained and worked as lawyers before studying garden design. Henrietta went on to work with landscape and garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith and then started her own garden design business. Bridget went on to study horticulture in London before spending three years back in her native New Zealand, where she grew peonies on the family farm, Craigmore, before moving to Wardington Manor.

“We are grateful to hellebores, which flower at a time when there is little in the garden. The hybrid Lenten rose (Helleborus hybridus) can be tricky, but we find it lasts longer if picked when it is going to seed in late spring and its stems are seared in boiling water.” Bridget and Henrietta.
Photographer Clare Richardson

At The Land Gardeners, both Henrietta and Bridget now specialise in the design of productive gardens – particularly walled gardens. They have combined forces to research soil health and its importance as the source of plant, animal, human and, ultimately, planetary health. In conjunction with Innovative Farmers, they launched The Farm Project to make high-quality, microbially rich compost on a large scale, with the goal of empowering growers and farmers to do the same. Their book Clive Nichols English Gardens was published by The Land Gardeners Press in 2014.


Published by Thames & Hudson Publication date: October 2019


Blog cover image: Wardington Manor. Photographer: Clive Nichols

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