John Evelyn

John Evelyn (born 1620) is best known as a diarist. but he was more than that. He coined the word “avenue” meaning a double row of trees. He proposed the motto “Decus et Tutamen” (an ornament and a safeguard) which still surrounds our £1 coins and he was a gardener. His books included an encyclopedia of gardens and gardening, Pomona a book about fruit trees, Kalendarium Hortense: or Gard’ners Almanac and Sylva about trees. This last stimulated the widespread planting of oak trees to replenish the stocks of wood for shipbuilding and they were mature in time for Nelson’s fleet one hundred and fifty years later. He also published the first book about pollution, Fumifugium about the smoke that hung over London from the coal fires.
Much has been said and written recently about the value of nature and gardens. Evelyn would agree. He wrote the air and genius of gardens operate upon human spirits towards virtue and sanctity.
These images are of trees at Anglesey Abbey.

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