|A memorial bench to Lanning Roper is located in the churchyard behind St Stephen Walbrook Church.|
A memorial bench to Lanning Roper can now be found in the churchyardLanning Roper, born in West Orange, N.J., in 1912, and a 1933 fine-arts graduate of Harvard, came to be recognised as one of England’s pre-eminent landscape designers and horticultural journalists. His landscaping and architectural skills which helped plan the formal gardens of aristocratic estates, the herbaceous borders along country cottage walks and the terraces of London town houses, were sought worldwide. In the United States, his work can be seen at Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House along the Fox River in Plano, Illinois.
Roper succeeded in creating nearly 150 quintessential English landscapes that bear his mark: lavender borders spilling onto pathways, walls covered with a profusion of vines, endless varieties of old-fashioned roses and a penchant for silver-gray foliage as a useful foil for flowers. What appeared as romantic informality was based, nevertheless, on the precision of certain knowledge learned and honed during years of study and training.’ http://www.nytimes.com/1984/05/13/magazine/landscape-design-english-gardens-with-a-us-flavor.html?pagewanted=all
Roper was commissioned, by Lord Peter Palumbo, to undertake design and planting advice for the churchyard at St Stephen Walbrook from 1975 – 1982.
‘The raised churchyard behind the church is now a garden, shaded by trees and largely paved, with seats and modern sculpture.’
‘The site was landscaped in the 1960s to designs by the Fitzroy Robinson Partnership with planting by Lanning Roper, a foremost contemporary horticulturalist.’
‘Roper transformed the yard behind Christopher Wren’s 1679 Church of St. Stephen Walbrook with a mahonia tree, camellias, rhododendrons, scillas and daffodils.’