In 2004 we were invited by the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) to develop a garden in celebration of the life of George Harrison at Bhakdividanta Manor near Watford.
The site is a Victorian woodland dell which included important historical features most notably some areas of Pulhamite stone, but which had become overgrown, colonised by invasive weeds and in a poor state of repair.
The brief was two-fold. Firstly, and most importantly, was the shared goal to develop a garden which reflected the life of George Harrison and which would become a spiritual focus for Krishna devotees and visitors to the Manor. This would include working with artists to commission 8 bespoke artworks which would become an alegory for Krishna's life told through the words of George Harrison.
Secondly, we were to develop an attractive woodland garden through a combination of paths, seating areas, soil amelioration, judicious pruning and removal of overgrown trees and shrubs to bring light back into the garden, and a full re-planting of the garden.
The design process started with over two years of detailed discussion with members of the Krishna community, friends and family of George Harrison, artists, gardeners, maintenance teams, planners and garden historians. The results of this conversation can be seen above and developed further from the superimposition of a 108ft circular mandala onto which was located an octogon. The eight points of the octogon indicated the positions of the artworks.
The photographs show the garden in it's first year after planting. It has since been supplemented with additional colourful planting under the directorship of Olivia Harrison. Below the photographs is a brief explanation of the 8 focal points.