Keep up to date with the Red House garden

Marking out for the garden seat at Red House

2019 sees the start of a year long project to re-imagine one of William Morris’s garden enclosures. Using maps from the 1860s we will follow the footprint of one of the original ‘rooms’ to the north of the house. 

Like Morris we’re taking inspiration from medieval gardens. The space will feature turf seats, re-introducing the traditional art of wattle weaving and planting some of William Morris’s favourite flowers.

Follow the progress of the project here…

Latest updates

08 Jun 20

Summer Snow

The Garden Snug project is all about recapturing the atmosphere of Morris’s distinctive garden design. The walled garden and its wattle enclosures were designed to create a sense of privacy for the Morris family and their friends. It was a place to relax, sketch, read and escape from the pressures of everyday life. This engraving by Edward Burne-Jones, entitled Summer Snow, may well be modelled on Jane Morris in the garden at Red House.

'Summer Snow' by Edward Burne-Jones, possibly modelled on Jane Morris in the garden at Red House.

12 May 20

Daisy, Daisy...

The humble daisy was one of Morris’s favourite flowers and often featured in his designs. A simple meadow flower it evoked the English countryside that Morris and Webb both loved. In medieval art, especially illuminated manuscripts, daisy-strewn flowery meads are often the setting for tales of courtly or chivalric love. It also had literary associations. Morris and Burne-Jones idolised the medieval poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, and one of their favourite poems, The Legend of Good Women, opens with lines in praise of the daisy.

'Daisy' William Morris's first published wallpaper design registered in February 1864

13 Apr 20

Art from Nature

Whilst work on the Garden Snug is on pause, we can share some of the artworks inspired by Morris’s medieval-style garden at Red House. Most famous of all is his ‘Trellis’ wallpaper design, now in the collection of the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow. Morris used wattle fencing, adorned with scented climbing roses, to create his garden enclosures. ‘Trellis’ may even have been sketched from life. Philip Webb added the naturalistic, lively birds. It’s a great time to sketch the outdoors, whether in your garden or from your window.

Trellis design by Morris & Co.