A project that started at the whim of Jane Percy, the Duchess of Northumberland, has become one of the most ambitious public gardens created in Europe since World War II.
The duchess hired Jacques Wirtz, a Belgian landscape architect considered by some the modern equivalent of the designer of the gardens at Versailles. His design included a Serpent Garden with swirling yew hedges and eight stainless steel water sculptures by William Pye, an English sculptor.
Alnwick Castle, her husband's ancestral home, played the role of Hogwarts School in the first two Harry Potter movies. Tourism to the castle, and to the gardens, has increased because of the popularity of the films.
The Poison Garden is a spooky fenced-off area with about 100 varieties of toxic plants, as well as cannabis and opium poppies.
A $7 million treehouse was built amid 17 lime trees, with an education center, a restaurant that seats 80 people and thousands of square feet of suspended walkways.
The Duchess and the Garden - The New York Times > Home & Garden > Slide Show > Slide 14 of 14