In 1912 Sir Hubert von Herkomer demolished the Art School. In early 1913, Thomas Mawson was looking for a studio in the London area.
Friends of Mawson had suggested Herkomer’s Art School and he at once wrote to Herkomer to make enquiries about renting the property. Herkomer replied saying that the school had been demolished, but by coincidence was reading Mawson’s book ‘The Art & Craft of GardenMaking’ and invited. Mawson to Bushey to discuss a possible rose garden project.
The two met at Herkomer’s house ‘Lululaund’ the following weekend where they viewed the site of the proposed rose garden which was covered end to end with old building material.
The pair discussed and agreed the main outlines and proportions of the garden. Herkomer suggested an unusual method of payment: “…We have still to settle your fees, and I am going
to make a suggestion which I hope you will accept. I think you ought to have your portrait painted; my price for this would be six hundred guineas….Let’s swap. I’ll do your portrait, whilst you design my rose garden, and we’ll call it quits…” To which Mawson readily agreed.
Painting of Lululaund by Jill Ibrom
Herkomer died in 1914 and his estate passed to his third wife LadyMargaret Herkomer.
The Bushey Urban District Council bought the garden in 1937 from the Herkomer Estate when Lady Herkomer passed away. The Rose Walk was added and the garden was opened up to the public. Lululaund was offered as an arts centre but, due to the high running costs, the council turned the offer down and the house was demolished. All that remains is the frontage inMelbourne Road.
These images show the garden in the early 1950s
Visitors to the garden can recall a gardener who used to grow plants in a greenhouse. Elderly gentlemen would often meet in the summer house and play cards and smoke by the fireplace.
After a terrible hurricane in the 1980s, the Cloisters were discovered on Veolia Water’s site in Clay Lane. Veolia Water donated the Cloisters to the council and these were moved and erected on the lawn area in 1995.
In 2002, the Rose Garden was registered as a Park and Garden of Special Historic Interest Grade II.
The Summer House, Column (now the Rose Temple) and Fountain are Grade II Listed structures.
How the discovery of the Cloisters was reported