Percy Cane

From Falkland Historic Buildings
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Front cover of his book The Earth is my Canvas

Percy Cane (Percival Stephen Cane, 1881–1976) was an English garden designer and writer.

Cane began designing gardens around 1919 and within a decade he had become one of the most sought-after designers of his day.[1] His gardens range from the grounds of the Jubilee Palace of Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa, to a tiny town garden in Taptonville Road, Sheffield.[2]

Two gardens wholly or partly designed by Cane in Scotland are designated "of national importance" and are thus included on Historic Environment Scotland's Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes. His work at Falkland Palace gardens in the late 1940s "gives Falkland Palace gardens outstanding value as a Work of Art."[3] The river garden he designed for Monteviot, Jedburgh, in the 1960s contributes to the garden's designation as "outstanding."[4] In addition, the gardens designed by Cane are mentioned in the Statement of Special Interest for the listed building at Ardencraig, Rothesay.[5]

Restoration by NTS

"The National Trust for Scotland has made significant progress at the garden over the last two seasons, beginning with the necessary research report and planting plans based on what is known of Cane’s original design. The gardens team, led by Interim Head Gardener Susan Thores, have been working to prepare ground, replant, and establish six total island beds. Often at the mercy of unpredictable Scottish weather, the team expertly navigates late spring snowfalls, exceptional dry weather, and prolonged periods of very cold, wet conditions."[6]


  1. "Cane, Stephen Percival [Percy]" in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  2. Ronald Webber, Percy Cane, Garden Designer (Edinburgh: J. Bartholomew, 1975).
  3. HES record for Falkland Palace Gardens (GDL00176); includes a substantial description of Percy Cane's work at Falkland.
  4. HES record for Monteviot (GDL00288).
  5. HES record for Ardencraig House (LB40467).
  6. UPDATE: Percy Cane Garden at Falkland Palace, National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA, 10 July 2018 (archived version from the Internet Archive).