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Dan Pearson’s Plans for Dartington

To mark the 90th anniversary of Beatrix Farrand’s involvement at Dartington, Dan Pearson, recipient of the 2022 Beatrix Farrand Society Achievement Award, talks about the masterplan he has produced for the estate and gardens.

A settlement since the 9th century with a medieval Great Hall at its heart, the estate was acquired in 1925 by American heiress Dorothy Elmhirst and her English husband Leonard. Together they created a unique experiment in rural regeneration, agriculture, education and the arts. They employed several of the best known names in landscape and garden design during their time there including Henry Avray Tipping, Percy Crane, Preben Jacobsen and Beatrix Farrand, who worked there from 1933 to 1937.

Pearson has taken the masterplan brief from the Elmhirst’s philosophy of a ‘reverence for the old and a joy in the new’. The 20-year plan for the gardens strikes a balance between respect for the old, while proposing gentle renovation and the creation of spaces for new interventions and opportunities for increased community and visitor engagement.

Find out more: https://www.dartington.org/ 

  • Dan Pearson

    Bio »

    Dan Pearson

    Dan Pearson is a British landscape designer, horticulturalist, gardener, and writer. His work is characterised by an innate sensitivity to place, an intuitive and light-handed approach to design, bold and painterly naturalistic plantings and deep-rooted horticultural knowledge.Dan trained in horticulture at RHS Gardens’ Wisley, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Jerusalem Botanical Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He has been practising as a landscape and garden designer since 1987. He is a Fellow of the Society of Garden Designers (FSGD), an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Hon FRIBA) and a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI). Since 2014 he has been a Garden Advisor to the National Trust at Sissinghurst Castle. In 2013 Dan was the subject of an exhibition at The Garden Museum, London, Green Fuse: The Work of Dan Pearson. Dan has designed a number of award-winning show gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show. His 2015 show garden for Chatsworth and Laurent Perrier was awarded a Gold Medal and Best Show Garden. Dan lectures and broadcasts regularly and has written a number of books. For over 20 years he wrote a weekly newspaper gardening column, most recently for The Observer. He now writes his own weekly blog, Dig Delve. In 2022 he was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.