There are so many aspects of Beatrix Potter’s works that I have found to be beautiful during this project, however the illustrations and her attention to details in them has been the thing to stick with me the most. At the heart of her illustrations is Potter’s love and respect for nature. For that reason, my final blog on her works is dedicated to the beauty of the Peter Rabbit Garden located in the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction.
Award winning designer Richard Lucas took aspects of the classic tale and infused it into the real life garden, which opened in the Lake District in 2009.
Lucas took great strides to make it as close to Mr. McGregor’s garden from the classic story. He even analyzed the pictures to pick out certain types of plants. One interesting point that was brought from this was the fact that Peter is not actually eating carrots in the famous picture (featured below) but is in fact eating a type of radish. For this reason, those in charge of the garden work to save the Long Scarlet Radish.
Various types of plant life is showcased throughout the garden and was brought in from various specialty nurseries across the UK. Caretakers and gardeners stay true to the idea that this is a real garden and allow weeds to take root among the flowers they have carefully chosen. Some of these include cabbage, beetroot (for a splash of color), gooseberries, and parsnip.
The Peter Rabbit Garden is a great homage to the exquisite work Potter spent decades trying to perfect. It has managed to find a common place for both beauty and functionality, just as Potter strived to do with her little books.
All over the world, Beatrix Potter fans can proudly show off their own personal collection of her little books and reprints of her watercolors. However, there are collections and attractions of larger scales for fans to visit and explore.
In London, what is most likely the largest special collection of Beatrix Potter related material is housed at the Victoria & Albert Museum. As a young girl, Potter would often go to the museum to sketch and was later even inspired by some of the clothing on display there for costumes for characters in her books. The exhibit came mainly from the private collection of Leslie Linder, a man who studied and collected Potter’s works throughout his life. At the time of his death, his collection of nearly 280 drawings and forty first edition books was bequeathed to the museum. Other objects have found their way to the collection over time, including the original “Peter Rabbit Letter” that started it all in 1893.
While this collection is open to the public, it may not be for every fan, especially younger children. However, The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction does fill that gap, offering a fun and informative experience for the young and young at heart who hold Potter’s world dear.
As the video shows, visitors can walk through the exhibits and feel as if they are in the worlds the books create. Whether you would like to feel as if you are underground with Mr. Tod or in the glades with Jemima Puddle-duck, the attraction offers it.
Furthermore, in 2009, the attraction opened the Peter Rabbit Garden, stocked with various foliage and vegetables mentioned in the original story. While this is not a special collection per say, it is something that embodies the imagination of Potter.