The Garden Guide

Book: London Parks and Gardens, 1907
Chapter: Chapter 5 Greenwich Park

Andre Le Notre work in Greenwich Park

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Le Notre's name is associated with the changes at Greenwich, as it is with those in St. James's Park, and the style was undoubtedly his; but it is not at all likely that he ever actually came to England, but sent some representative who helped to carry out his ideas. The alterations were under the superintendence of Sir William Boreman, who became Keeper of the Park about that date. In March 1644 John Evelyn made a note in his Diary about planting some trees at his house of Sayes Court, Deptford, and adds, "being the same year that the elms were planted by His Majesty in Greenwich Park." The avenues and all the fine sweet chestnuts were planted about this time, besides coppices and orchards. John Evelyn must have approved of these avenues, as in his "Sylva" he praises the chestnut for "Avenues to our Country-houses; they are a magnificent and royal Ornament." Their nuts were not appreciated in England. "We give that food to our swine," Evelyn continues, "which is amongst the delicacies of Princes in other Countries;... doubtless we might propagate their use amongst our common people... being a Food so cheap and so lasting."