‘The Natural Kalendar’ will bring to life phenology – the study of nature’s lifecycles and seasonal variations in climate from 301 years in the past through to the present day, looking into the potential impact on future plant species survival.
Slate signs, changed daily, quote from Gilbert White’s 18th century manuscripts for ‘The Natural History of Selborne’ a publication never since out of print and which resonates through the centuries and is still a reference point for naturalists, ecologists and ornithologists today.
Visitors will see features from White’s garden ‘The Wakes’ intricately recreated using plantings familiar to him, alongside cutting edge cultivars such as the Thompson & Morgan Plant of the Year 2020/21 entries.
This standout-feature from The Wake’s was designed by Gilbert White himself, and has been intricately recreated for ‘The Natural Kalendar’. Crafted from a Port barrel and thatched with a straw roof, the seat can turn a full 360 degrees. This offers endless views across the vast gardens, as well as protection from the ever-changing weather.
Originating in 18th century France, the Haha wall was quickly adopted throughout British parks and gardens due to the illusion it gave of an extended estate from afar. The hidden wall also easily differentiated between different estates, and kept livestock from grazing onto decorative lawns. The Haha that is currently at Selbourne is said to be the original that White himself designed and built.
We know from records that Gilbert White had six large, rectangular flowerbeds. To compliment Gilbert Whites’ garden – where his flowerbed would have stepped through the changing seasons, ours will walk through time, showing progression from traditional flower gardens, to a working kitchen garden filled with herbs and vegetables.