A Purring Greenhouse in Winter

Sunday 25th February 2018

Royston King and I paid a Royal visit to Myddleton House, Enfield. This was the home of E.A.Bowles, the great plantsman and gardener, whose nephew is Andrew Parker-Bowles. Hence Camilla came to open it after renovation and restoration funded by Royston’s committee. They gave £mmm. A seething would-be Gay life went on there from the outset. E.A.Bowles was unmarried. Norman Lewis, who wrote Naples ’44, was a ‘Bowles Boy’. There was a tradition of ‘boys’ working in the garden. In the photographic exhib at Myddleton, which Royston inspected, E.A.Bowles looks saucy when young. Even today, well-formed young men are forking in the garden, even in February. Others are strutting by, giving attitude. We went into the greenhouse: finally I saw the point of a greenhouse – to have all those flowers in the depths of winter. Luxury. The hothouse world of choice things, tended to exquision. In a room off the greenhouse, we saw the gloves Camilla wore when she opened, which involved doing some potting on herself, despite her couture about which she was completely unflapped.

It was well-worth it – giving all those £mmmm to Myddleton House. E.A. Bowles was important: over 200 plants were named by him or are named after him. Most famous is Erysium ‘Bowles Mauve’ which is ubiquitous but an excellent plant – good colour, reliable and quite long-lived for a perennial wallflower. E.A.Bowles hated it, of course. The gardens are now open to the public all the year free of charge. Amazing. There’s a Swamp Cypress. Gardening going on at a high level. You can tell even when there’s nothing to see except snowdrops in February. It was all cared for and ready to burst.

We visited offices, where personnel rose to their feet. Our guide has served since the 1980s. He is the link with the Bowles days which ended in 1954. People he knew knew Bowles. He’s been scattering ashes recently. But others, in the spring of youth, are actually in charge. So the hierarchy is wrenched in an attractive Poor Little Rich Gay fashion. Our guide’s connection with Royston lends cachet. The great grandeur of the Gays presides and rises fully above actual position.

When Camilla Opened Myddleton House These Were the Gloves She Wore for Potting on in the Potting Shed

When Camilla Opened Myddleton House These Were the Gloves She Wore for Potting on in the Potting Shed

When Camilla Opened Myddleton House, this is the Bench where She Potted On

When Camilla Opened Myddleton House, this is the Bench where She Potted On

The Luxury of the Greenhouse in Winter

The Luxury of the Greenhouse in Winter

Winter Hothouse Flowers

Winter Hothouse Flowers

A Rare Knipfolia Type of Hothouse Plant

A Rare Knipfolia Type of Hothouse Plant

Some Private Paintings by E.A.Bowles: Royston Said they Must Buck up with their Exhibition for May

Some Private Paintings by E.A.Bowles: Royston Said they Must Buck up with their Exhibition for May

Another Painting by E.A.Bowles.

Another Painting by E.A.Bowles.

A Flower Painting by E.A.Bowles: Exhibition Needs to be Organised for May. Royston said they must Buck Up

A Flower Painting by E.A.Bowles: Exhibition Needs to be Organised for May. Royston said they must Buck Up

Posted Sunday, February 25, 2018 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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