Country Life

Scenes and splendour

EVEN without all the virus havoc that has turned the world upside down in 2020, this was going to be a momentous year for Sir Roy Strong. On August 23, the eminent historian, garden-maker, prolific author and former museum director celebrates his 85th birthday. The latest volume of his Diaries will be published in November and he’s about to start writing his 50th book. He is also presently wrapping up his furniture, paintings and treasured trinkets for something nobody expected: a big house move.

This means, of course, departure from The Laskett and its famous garden, made from scratch since 1973 by Roy and his late wife, the opera and theatre set designer, Julia Trevelyan Oman. Sir Roy had already made arrangements to leave the garden on his death, together with a generous endowment, to the horticultural charity Perennial. ‘As it stood, I was expecting to leave here in my coffin, feet first,’ he says.

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