500 Ar i en Dansk Have – Tusinder af haenders arberjde [500 Years in a Danish Garden – The Work of Thousands of Hands]

Posted on January 20th, 2010 by Charles Boot

Annie Christensen, 500 Ar i en Dansk Have – Tusinder af haenders arberjde [500 Years in a Danish Garden – The Work of Thousands of Hands] (Humlebæk: Rhodos, 2004), ISBN 8772459182

I reviewed Annie Christensen’s three-volume history of the park and garden at Gisselfeld (published in 1986) in a previous issue of Garden History.1 She has now produced this very attractive single volume with an impressive range of excellent illustrations. Using extensive collections of archives both at Gisselfeld and Copenhagen, she has also given a detailed account of the development of the park and garden through five centuries.

Of particular interest to British readers are the contributions of H. E. Milner and James Pulham & Son. Milner was commissioned in 1886 to remodel the park and he also designed the kitchen garden and laid out an American garden on what was then Swan Island, but is now Rhododendron Island. Three of Milner’s plans and a watercolour are reproduced. (Edward Milner, H. E.’s father, had worked at Knuthenborg.) Pulham created the remarkable waterfall, well-illustrated by Christiansen’s photographs. In 1892, a new mower was ordered from Ransomes’, and leather shoes were bought for the horse which was to pull it. Gisselfeld is also famous in Denmark as the place where Hans Andersen conceived the tale of the ugly duckling.

Peter Hayden

* Garden History, 15/2 (1987), pp. 175–6

33:2 (Winter 2005)

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