Flower borders – identifying plants in the Doddington tapestries

Like the gardens, the Doddington tapestries are positively brimming with plants and flowers.


The weavers took delight in including as many blooms as possible. In the tapestry borders they combined flowers from all seasons – rather an impossible act in a real flower border! The tapestries were once very brightly coloured but over the centuries light has caused them to fade. Now we can only glimpse the original gaudy shades on the reverse and in areas that have been protected from light.


Despite fading, the flowers are still colourful and impressively detailed. Many of them are easily identifiable, for example, there are trumpet-shaped lilies, roses stuffed with petals and tall, pointed tulips.. However, others aren’t so obvious to the non-horticulturalist. So, we enlisted the expertise of David, the head gardener, to take a look at the tapestries and tell us what’s growing in this Flemish garden.


Here are some of the woven flowers and their real-life counterparts.




Main image: detail from ‘The Fountain Scene’ tapestry, Yellow Bedroom


1. Peony


2. Iris


3. Dianthus


4. Violets


5. Crown imperial


6. Madonna lily


7. Martagon lily


8. Rose



Want to see the Doddington tapestries for yourself? Check the hall and garden opening hours here.


For images and weekly updates on the conservation project, follow us on Instagram at conservation_at_doddington.


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