Mountfitchet Garden Club

News: August 2023

In the Garden with William Morris

Fiona Rose was the guest speaker for our August meeting; she gave a detailed talk about the life of William Morris. As well as a textile designer, he was also a poet, artist, translator, writer and a socialist activist.


He was associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement, the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. Born in the then rural Walthamstow, he enjoyed being outside from an early age; his love of nature influenced his designs throughout his life.

Morris had a keen interest in medieval architecture, history and design and the gardens in his various homes depicted this. In the Red House Garden in Bexleyheath he commissioned small garden enclosures surrounded by wattle fencing so that roses and other plants could clamber over them. This concept of rambling plants can be seen in his colourful designs with names  such as Marigolds, Acanthus, and Strawberry thieves.


As his designs grew in popularity, Morris purchased land adjacent to the River Wandle in Merton, which  allowed him to bring all his workshops together in one place. Two of his homes, The Red House and Kelmscott Manor are open to the public. 


you can find out more about Fiona Rose on her website:



Some of Morris’ famous designs are shown below

Fiona Rose
Strawberry Thief, designed 1883
Acanthus Wallpaper, c.1875
William Morris, aged 53 (photo c.1887)
Trellis wallpaper by William Morris, 1862.
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