Sue Finlay - The Planting of a Hillside Garden From Patrick Eyres' New Arcadian Journal (No 61/62, 2007), here's a fascinating article in which Sue Finlay tells, in her own words, how she
experienced the beginnings of the garden at Stonypath (later named Little Sparta) as she and Ian Hamilton Finlay laid the first foundations and
began the process which led to the garden that can be seen today.
Stephen Bann - A Description of Stonypath (1981)
Ian Hamilton Finlay became increasingly interested in the gardens created by English eighteenth-century poets. In particular, he admired the example of William Shenstone...
During the late 1970s, Ian Hamilton Finlay became increasingly interested in the gardens created by English eighteenth-century poets. In particular, he admired the example of William Shenstone, whose garden named 'The Leasowes' was small in scale, but had gained a European reputation by the time of his death. Shenstone's garden was arranged in woodland valleys around a fairly modest country house (a type known to garden historians as a 'ferme ornée').His preferred emblem was the kingfisher, who is 'not glorious', but 'loves the rivers and woods' (see the prints that figure in the title page of his Collected Works). His 'Unconnected Sentences on Gardening', and other similar lists of sayings, became the direct precedent for Finlay's publications in a similar vein.
A notable factor in ensuring Shenstone's legacy was the fascinating text describing a walk through his garden compiled by his publisher Dodsley, which was entitled 'A Description of the Leasowes'. When John Dixon Hunt founded the Journal of Garden History in 1980, he was specially interested in featuring contemporary gardens, and I proposed writing an essay which would feature Stonypath/Little Sparta as if in homage to Shenstone. The time had come, to my mind, for the first published review of the history of the garden to date. The essay incorporated historic photographs of the early years, as well as providing the opportunity for new images by the Scottish photographer Lindsey Stewart. The essay was published in the second issue of the new journal in 1981.
Although this original publication was in a 'learned journal', Hunt allowed me to take off-prints of the essay which were sold on behalf of the newly formed 'Friends of Stonypath Garden'.
Stephen Bann (Photo: Title page of The Works of William Shenstone, London, 1777)
Dr Duncan Macmillan - Ian Hamilton Finlay 1925-2006 Article written for the Lyon & Turnbull in-house magazine Perspective by Dr Duncan Macmillan following the death of Ian Hamilton Finlay in 2006. Published in January 2007.
A people's Arcadia: the public gardens of Ian Hamilton Finlay in relation to Little Sparta Written by Patrick Eyres, and reproduced with the kind permission of the editor, John Dixon Hunt, from Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, vol. 29, nos. 1 & 2 (January-June 2009), pp.115-132, published by Taylor and Francis.
Harry Gilonis - Intimate Lettering - Ian Hamilton Finlay in Bristol (2013) Transcription of a talk given at St George's, Bristol by Harry Gilonis as part of the Arnolfini Gallery's ‘Ian Hamilton Finlay Weekend’ in August 2013. Photographs taken by Patrick Eyres of the works being discussed have been added.
Patrick Eyres - The Hortus Conclusus at Little Sparta First published in the Garden History Society's GHS News in 2009, this article by Patrick Eyres describes the context, conception and posthumous completion of the Hortus Conclusus - Ian Hamilton Finlay's final element concieved for the Little Sparta garden.