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Nancy Lancaster’s Gardening Hat

Nancy Lancaster (1897-1994) was an interior and garden designer.  She moved to Britain from America in the 1920s bringing with her the idea of combining elegance and comfort. In the home she mixed furniture of different styles and periods and in the garden she embraced contrasting and vibrant colours. In the 1950s she co-founded the design company Colefax and Fowler which specialised in what her business partner, John Fowler, described as ‘pleasing decay’.

As a gardener Nancy Lancaster delighted in bright colours, saying that ‘as long as there was enough green, anything went’. Yellow was a favoured colour and friends remember her in the garden in the depths of winter wearing a bright yellow hat. Examples of her gardens can be seen at her former homes; Dichley Park in Oxfordshire and Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire.

Ref: 2018.007






c. 1970

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