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This was originally built as the sighting mound for surveying during the construction of the Georgian House.
Visitors who climb up to the Temple have a wonderful panoramic view of the gardens and the Dorset countryside, virtually untouched since Thomas Hardy’s time.
Meanwhile Cecil established a student exchange at Kew.
Today following a period of decline and neglect “La Mortola” is known as the Hanbury Botanic Garden and belongs to the University of Genoa .
A tranquil, peaceful and intimate spot, the gardens are beautifully situated in undulating Dorset countryside, with a lake, canals, broad sweeping and formal gardens.
The lovely 35 acre formal gardens were created by the Hanburys between 19 within the existing framework of an eighteenth century Capability Brown style parkland setting and the vestiges of a Victorian garden.
The formal gardens are set on a number of axes – the main north/south axis leads from the Red Garden, through the Mediterranean Border, to the Double Herbaceous Border and the main east/west axis leads from the Brick Garden, along the Terrace Border, and the south front of the Main House.
All the plants are grown at Kingston Maurward from overwintered cuttings and planted out each year.
From this raised mound the full beauty of the formal gardens, the structure and the ‘rooms’ or individual gardens can be seen .
The view down from the croquet lawn is in line with the diamond shaped clair-voyee cut in the yew coronet of the Crown Garden.
This garden would be planted in a similar manner with warm, bright Mediterranean colours.
Today red is still the dominant theme of this garden.