What’s new in the gardens for 2017

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Visitors to Glyndebourne will notice some changes in the gardens this year. The Figaro Garden has been redesigned and thanks to new lighting (made possible through kind donations to our Annual Fund) you can now enjoy this special place well into the evening.

The remodelling of the Figaro Garden was prompted by the poor health of the trees and a desire to improve access through the garden by replacing the old stone paths.

‘In redesigning the garden I wanted to accentuate the feel of stillness, calm and serenity that the garden had – a contrast from the flower and fragrance-packed brouhaha of other parts of the garden,’ explains John Hoyland, Glyndebourne’s Garden Advisor.

‘The garden remains enclosed by tall hedges but the dense yew hedges have been replaced by hornbeam, which in winter will allow the light through its filigree framework of branches. The new trees are Sorbus, which will provide a light, dappled shade in summer and also, importantly, they won’t block the building. Until now the auditorium had been screened, but the new planting allows the striking architecture of the opera house to finally be appreciated’.

The central feature of the Figaro garden is Henry Moore’s Draped Reclining Woman. ‘To enhance the setting of this important piece of twentieth century art a simple pool has been installed which not only reflects the sculpture but also the surrounding trees, buildings and hedges, as well as bringing the sky down into the garden,’ says John.

Enjoy the gardens for longer

Audiences are already enjoying the remodelled garden and the new lighting, as seen in this photo posted by @tomaszlis on Instagram

Thanks to the money raised through our Annual Fund there is also atmospheric lighting running through the Figaro, Bourne and Mildmay Gardens. Each year the Annual Fund raises money to support a particular part of the Glyndebourne experience. With the improvements made to the lighting, audiences can continue to enjoy the garden after the end of a performance.

Environmental concerns are always at the forefront of our minds when updating the site and the new lighting also contributes towards Glyndebourne’s efforts to be as green as possible. The lights are energy-efficient LEDs and the light is emitted down to reduce light pollution.

The new lighting was designed by Keith Benson, Glyndebourne’s Head of Lighting. ‘It’s Keith’s profession so he knew exactly what types of lights would work best,’ says Head Gardener, Kevin Martin. ‘We’re lucky that we have so many talented people at Glyndebourne’.

Light up the lawns in 2018

There are hopes to continue extend to the new lighting along the pathways in the gardens, enabling safer access, a priority for Glyndebourne. ‘We’re going to monitor the new lights and if everyone is happy and we raise enough through the Annual Fund we hope to continue’, explains Kevin.

If you would like to help light up the garden lawns you can donate below. All donations to the Annual Fund, no matter how big or small, are warmly received, and we would like to thank everyone who has donated so far.

Donate to the Annual Fund

Glyndebourne is a charity. We receive no public subsidy for the Festival, and our profits go back into creating incredible opera, and maintaining our world-class opera house. 65% of our income comes from ticket sales, and we rely on the kind support of donors to keep the site up to the standard we and our audience expects.