On Sunday afternoon I went for a stroll in Chiswick House and Gardens and checked out the Camellia Show which is currently on in the conservatory.
If you’re in the area, pop along: it was a lovely half hour (and free). The flowers were certainly beautiful while a handy guide explains the history behind most, apart from the few unknown varieties.
My favourite detail was about the Chandleri which was first offered for sale in 1825 at £5/5- the equivalent of half a year’s wages for a maidservant.
Chiswick’s Camellias mostly originated in China and were brought here from the 1820s onwards by the 6th Duke of Devonshire who housed the collection after building the conservatory. He also housed giraffes and an elephant in the gardens, so he certainly liked to show off!
In honour of this elephant, Sadi, a topiary animal has been created in the centre of the conservatory- very close to the spot where The Beatles famously posed for their first music videos. There is so much history here!
All in all, this little collection is very aesthetically-pleasing, quite calming and also good for the local history buffs.
Also if you go soon you’ll be able to see the Magical Lantern Festival’s installations in the daytime. Very bright and fun, they certainly brightened up a gloomy day.