Taking inspiration from the pleasure gardens of 18th century London this magazine engages its public with an array of attractions – ranging from the past to the present, the sedate to the salacious. Here we step away from the practicalities of the garden instead placing it within a wider cultural context. The pleasure garden was always a place to escape to - a fantasy in a garden, filled with art, music, fashion, society and sex. It is this mix that we transport to the printed pages of Pleasure Garden.
In this, our inaugural issue, we introduce the concept and history of our inspiration – the pleasure garden. Alex Tieghi Walker traces Vauxhall’s reputation for pleasure into the modern day. Drew Vickers photographs New York florist Brittany Asch as she talks art and flowers with Catherine Wagley. Our icon for the issue is Valerie Finnis – a gardener and photographer who captured the characters of horticultural post-war Britain.
Howard Sooley shares his photographs and fond memories of Finnis from her later years and inspired by our icon we take a trip across Switzerland to visit two alpine gardens at altitude. Annemarieke van Drimmelen beautifully captures Stella Tennant at Edinburgh Botanical Gardens for a story about the family gardening gene. Jonny Bruce walks us through that great annual institution the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and we visit Vienna to explore its green spaces and catch up with the design siblings Carl and Maria at the legendary Aubock workshop. Plus images from Kohei Yoshiyuki’s ‘The Park’ and Ansel Krut’s ‘Talking Flowers’.