A Giant Pineapple In The Garden?


In the 18th century Britain’s landed rich expended their often questionably-gotten gains in the creation of pleasure parks around their grand houses. These were places for promenading, a little sporting activity (fishing, sailing, archery), for re-enactments of famous naval battles (if you had your own lake); there were ‘eye-catcher’ summer houses, grottos, fake ruins, and classical temples. It was also the era of wholesale removal of villages from the sight-lines of the gentry in the ‘big house’. Garden tunnels were also dug so the horticultural workforce could go about their labours largely unseen. Above all, these gardens were ‘show off’ places, and if you wanted the best, you employed the likes of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown to design it.

Another show-off item was exotic fruit, especially the pineapple whose possession, in the flesh or as architectural motifs about the house, demonstrated your wealth and prestige. Here at Berrington Hall in Herefordshire there are both pineapples and the surviving landscape contrivances of Capability Brown. The park is magnificent, and Brown’s last stand as a garden designer. The National Trust owners encourage visitors to explore all of it, the Brown vistas currently being celebrated in 21st century style by a series of sculptural works by environmental artists Red Earth.

The Trust is also busy restoring the hall’s extensive walled gardens, and this is where you will find the extraordinary Giant Pink Pineapple Pavilion. It is the work of installation artists Heather and Ivan Morison; their own interpretation of the Georgian garden pleasure principle which included all manner of temporary structures for dining, conducting assignations, or communing with the great outdoors. I think the Georgians would have been suitably impressed, don’t you?


copyright 2017 Tish Farrell

Six Word Saturday – with apologies, Debbie, for lots of extra words.


29 thoughts on “A Giant Pineapple In The Garden?

  1. This made me smile because my daughter was regaling me with pineapple (as a status quo) stories only last night. She was also showing me photos of Ludwig II’s pineapple topped chandelier at his Linderhof palace. Now I will have a pineapple story to tell her!

    1. Oh what a hoot! I’ll tell him. It will give him something to aim for. On the other hand, do I want a giant fruit structure in what remains of the back garden? Course I do. It could be my writing room. Banana-shaped maybe…

  2. six intriguing words Tish but the red pineapple is a structure too far for my taste and probably for young Tradescant who first fruited pineapples in this country – near Weybridge of all places in the mid 1600s

      1. tulips trees and those lovely wandering plants from Virginia -Tradescantias! Buried at St Mary at Lambeth alongside Captain Bligh and now turned into a garden museum with entry payments 😦

  3. I was worried this might turn out to be a 19th century pineapple and I was going to have to relearn everything i thought I knew about 19th century art 🙂 I actually like it. It’s the color, I think.

  4. this is artsy and cool – and the tunnels make for great commuting if the weather is bad (the garden cannot wait!)
    also – just read that if you turn a pineapple upside down it will ripen fatser.

    and just curious – who is Sir Terry?

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