|Nos.3 & 5 Porchester Terrace||Westminster|
Nos. 3 and 5 Porchester Terrace is a double detached villa with domed conservatory that was designed by the influential garden designer and writer J C Loudon in 1823. Its garden, now much reduced, exemplified his ideas for gardens attached to suburban villas, and was illustrated in his book 'The Suburban Gardener and Villa Companion'. Curved paths skirted trees and shrubs, with raised beds in the rear where Loudon planted exotic species.
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John Claudius Loudon (1783-1843) was a celebrated landscape and garden designer, whose writings were influential from the early C19th. His first major work 'The Encyclopaedia of Gardening' was published in 1822 and he went on to publish numerous books, as well as 'The Gardener's Magazine', the journal he started in 1826, which continued to be published for some 19 years. In 1823 Loudon designed, for himself and his mother, the ‘double detached villa’ at Nos. 3 and 5 Porchester Terrace, which had a domed conservatory. This house and its attached garden became a forerunner and model for Victorian suburban villas that were gaining popularity, and was illustrated in his book 'The Suburban Gardener and Villa Companion' (1838). The garden had paths skirting the trees and shrubs and in the rear Loudon had raised beds of exotic plants. He advocated the importance of the relationship between house and garden, and was also influential in the design of public parks and squares, and promoted the planting of street trees, which he had seen on his travels in Europe in cities like Paris. However, when he planted a sumac tree outside his new home at Porchester Terrace, he soon had to remove this following complaints from the neighbours.
Many of the new mid-C19th cemeteries were influenced by Loudon's pioneering approach, published in 'On the laying out, planting and managing of cemeteries' (1843), which advocated an approach combining the functional with the aesthetic: a grid pattern for ease of locating and maintaining graves, planting of evergreen trees planted as single specimens, so as to avoid problems of dropping leaves and obstructing the space for burials. Loudon is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery (q.v.).
John Claudius Loudon, 'The Suburban Gardener and Villa Companion' (1824) ; Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West', (Penguin, 1999 ed); John Gloag 'Mr. Loudon's England', 1970. See article on Loudon by Louise Wickham in www.parksandgardens.ac.uk