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The Water Garden

Visitors to London can make an excursions, by train or car, to Hemel Hempsted and The Master Plan and the Water Gardens were designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe. For the Master Plan, the principle was to use the river valleys as linear parks and to conceal the housing, behind tree belts, areas on the hilltops. A similar arrangement was later used by Ian McHarg in his famous Plan for the Valleys. The Water Garden was one of Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe's favourite design projects. It is a delightful space. A canal with delicate bridges carries visitors from the town car parks to the shopping centre.The canalside walk has balconies projecting over the water. Underlying the design is the form of a serpent with a howdah strapped to its back. This was one of the early projects to be influenced by Paul Klee and by Jellicoe's views on the role of the subconscious in landscape design. It is therefore a landmark project in the history of English landscape and garden design. In Jellicoe's view, it was his point of transition from Abstract Modernism to Allegorical, Symbolic and Postmodern design.

The neglect of the Hemel Hempstead Water Gardens by Dacorum District Council in the early twentyfirst century is tantamout to an act of vandalism. See Blog Posts:

http://www.gardenvisit.com/blog/2011/07/11/hemel-hempstead-water-gardens-are-getting-worse-and-worse-and-worse/

http://www.gardenvisit.com/blog/2009/06/25/hemel-hempstead-water-gardens-are-a-national-disgrace/

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Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England, HP1

All year, Daily, Open dawn to dusk

Entrance free

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