The two year restoration project to renovate the grounds of Chiswick House is now complete. It cost £12 million of which £7.6 million came from the Heritage Lottery Fund. There is a spanking new cafe, designed by award winning architects Caruso St John, and next to it a playground for small children. The early 19th century Conservatory, the home of Chiswick’s world famous camellia collection, has been completely rebuilt; some of the camellias were planted in the Conservatory nearly 200 years ago. The Classic Bridge and the other garden buildings, statues and urns have been renovated and cleaned. A statue of Venus de Medici, sculpted by Andrian Melka, has been placed on top of the Doric Column to replace the statue that disappeared some time in the 19th century. The Rosary under the Doric Column has been replanted with new roses (both these initiatives were largely funded by the Friends of Chiswick House).
The car park, with better signage from the A4, has been reconfigured with a new entrance to the gardens made under the old large Rustic Arch. Pathways have been resurfaced and their drainage improved, while hedges have been pruned to their original proportions. A generous donation from the late Miss Phyllis Bishop has allowed the Italian Garden to be restored to its original 19th century appearance. The brick sheds which were the gardeners’ workshops behind the Conservatory have been restored and will be used as staff offices, for educational purposes and for storage. Gates have been repainted and new metal gates put up at the Park Road entrance and the entrance from the car park.
In the Southern Walled Garden the walls and garden features have been restored, and the Northern Walled Garden is being converted into an orchard. Over a thousand new trees have been planted, while dead and dangerous trees have been felled. New camellias and rhododendrons, propagated from existing stock, will be planted out, also eight new cedars of Lebanon in the forecourt of the house. These have been propagated from cedars already in the garden
The restoration of Chiswick House gardens is one of the biggest and most ambitious garden regeneration projects ever undertaken, and is now reaching its successful conclusion.