logocolour bestWelcome to the Birkbeck Garden History Group web site. The group is interested in studying garden history through lectures, garden visits and exhibitions and in encouraging others to become interested in the subject of garden history. Click on the links along the top of the page to find out more about the BGHG and our activities. Click ‘Follow’ at the bottom of this page on the right to receive alerts when new items are posted.

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September 2021 Update

Our readers who thought that the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in July meant an end to lectures via Zoom will see that evidence is very much to the contrary. Our latest Lectures Calendar which in this new edition covers a period from September 2021 to April 2022 contains over 80 lectures from more than 12 different organisations, some familiar, some possibly less so. Topics range far and wide and include Roman Gardens, Commercial Gardening, Plant Nurseries, Norfolk Gardens, 20th Century Iconic Landscapes, Tree talks, Plant Hunters & Pioneers, ‘Conversations Across Continents’, Geoffrey Jellicoe, Humphry Repton, Capability Brown, William Stukeley, Sylvia Crowe and many others. 

Full details can be found in the BGHG LECTURES CALENDAR 2021-2022 Edition_1

As well as lectures there are several upcoming walks – both actual and virtual.

DENMAN COLLEGE: The Gardens of London’s Square Mile – 23 September @ 11.00

This walk, led by Letta Jones, will explore some of the City of London’s gardens including the gardens of St Pauls Cathedral, Christchurch Greyfriars, Postman’s Park, and the Herb Garden of the ​Barber Surgeons Hall.  Others may be included if time permits. 

To book place visit Denmans

UK TOURS ONLINE: Exploring London’s ‘lungs’: the open spaces of the capital – Thursday 16 September 18.00 -19.30 

Join Blue Badge Guide Rachel ‘to learn more about London’s greenery. From Royal Parks and botanic gardens to common land and nature reserves, find out about the stories behind these places of floral wonder. Meet the people who ensured they would be around for generations to enjoy and get to know the plants and animals that call these places home. There will be some surprising tales along the way and plenty of inspiration to get out and enjoy London in a different way.’

To book visit Eventbrite

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June II Update

Four new lectures – from The Gardens Trust and Denman College have been added to our LECTURE CALENDAR 2021xi  From the Gardens Trust three talks focusing on gardens in Northeast Britain form their seventh Unforgettable Gardens series; whilst Denman are offering a talk on Hampton Court Palace and its gardens

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June 2021 Update

New information added this month includes: the tenth edition of our LECTURE CALENDAR 2021x where you will find talks from the Institute of Historical Research and Gardens Trust ongoing series as well as a sixth series of Unforgettable Gardens from the Gardens Trust in partnership with the Historic Gardens Foundation. 

On our Garden History Studies pages you will find information on a varied range of topics from University of Cambridge Botanic Garden;  Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education, including their Virtual Summer Festival 2021; Oxford Department of Continuing Education; and The Garden Historians

On the Publications page recently published garden-history related books include a book on London Parks and the newly published Twickenhamshire: A Riverside Realm of Gardens and Villas in the Age of Enlightenment, co-authored by BGHG member Chris Sumner and our President, Michael Symes.

Our Future BGHG Events page has been amended to show the cancellation of the potential visit to Pugin’s Trail in Ramsgate (we hope to run this in 2022 instead). 

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May Update

Our Lectures Calendar has again been updated and now shows lectures available online up to the end of June 2021.  See LECTURE CALENDAR 2021ix

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April 2021 Update II

Our Lectures Calendar 2021 has been updated with new lectures from The Garden Museum and Dorset Gardens Trust in association with The Gardens Trust. LECTURE CALENDAR 2021_18 April Update

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April 2021 Update

Our Lectures Calendar has been updated and details 40 garden history lectures we are aware of taking place between 6 April and 14 June 2021. Amongst these is a new series of Unforgettable Gardens focusing on London, and a lecture from the Sussex Snowdrop Trust about Denmans, one of the gardens BGHG had planned to visit in 2020 and the first to fall victim to the arrival of the pandemic.

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March Update II

Our LECTURE CALENDAR 2021vi_MARCH_15_UPDATE is now in its sixth version with the addition of a further 27 online lectures between 18 March and 14 June. As well as two new individual lectures the calendar includes a further 4-week Unforgettable Gardens series – this time focusing on gardens in Wales; a 6-week series on Gardens of the Early-17th Century; a 5-week series on Garden Archaeology; and a10-week Other Voices in Garden History series.    

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March Update

The 2021 Lectures Calendar has been updated and now includes some 40+ lectures from 15 different organisations taking place in March and April. You can view or download it here

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February Update

The BGHG Annual General Meeting will take place on Tuesday 23 February at 18.30 online via Zoom. All papers have been sent out to Members and sign-in details will be sent to all members a few days before the event.

An updated version of our Lectures Calendar 2021 provides details of a further 15 lectures including details of  the BGHG Lecture Series, full details of which are now also available on our BGHG Future Events page.


A new paperback book by Fergus Garrett: Great Dixter: Then & Now has been added to our Publications page.

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January Update II

Our BGHG LECTURE CALENDAR 2021iii has been updated with the addition of a further 8 lectures: Bucks Gardens Trust (BGT) are presenting talks on a variety of topics ranging from Public Parks in Milton Keynes to The Gardens and Estates of the Caetani at Ninfa and Sermoneta, Italy, alongside The Garden in Twentieth Century British Art.  At the Garden Museum (GM) Charles Aldington will be in conversation with the Museum’s director, Christopher Woodward; and The Gardens Trust’s new series: Portraits, Politics and Passion will feature Thomas Gainsborough, William Morris, Winston Churchill and Cedric Morris

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