On this page you will find information on a range of publications of interest to both experienced garden historians and those who are new to the topic or interested in exploring further.
Garden History- Journal of the Gardens Trust (until 2015 the Journal of the Garden History Society). An academic publication published twice a year and sent free to members of The Gardens Trust. Individual and back copies can be purchased from The Gardens Trust.
The London GARDENER – Journal of the London Historic Parks and Gardens Trust (LPGT), published once a year and sent free to LPGT members. Individual and back copies can be purchased from the LPGT. Described by the editor as “serious, but not academic”.
London Landscapes – the magazine of the London Parks and Gardens Trust, published three times a year and sent free to LPGT members.
Historic Gardens Review
Produced by the Historic Gardens Foundation, this is the only international magazine entirely devoted to historic parks and gardens.
‘Through the Review we work to bring together lovers of historic parks and gardens across the world. It provides a portal for the views of enthusiasts, campaigners and professionals alike and is a leading voice in championing the cause of our garden heritage.’
For further information visit http://www.historicgardens.org/
New in 2018
2018, the bi-centenary of Humphry Repton’s death, sees the publication of a growing number of books on Repton’s life and works:
Repton in London: The Landscapes of Humphry Repton (1752-1818) in the London Boroughs
Published by the London Parks & Gardens Trust (LPGT) this new book provides a fascinating insight into the unique range of gardens and landscapes Repton designed in and around the capital. His 50 plus commissions within the London Boroughs ranged from classic garden squares such as Russell Square and contemporary villas through to large landscapes such as that at Kenwood.
Written largely by LPGT volunteer researchers and members, many also members of BGHG, this beautifully illustrated book sheds light on Repton’s work that has not previously received such detailed scrutiny. For full details visit http://www.londongardenstrust.org/publications/repton.php
Humphry Repton in Norfolk, published by the Norfolk Gardens Trust https://www.norfolkgt.org.uk/publications/
Humphry Repton in Hertfordshire, by Susan Flood and Tom Williamson, published by Hertfordshire Gardens Trust http://hertsgardenstrust.org.uk/research/hgt-publications/
On The Spot: The Yorkshire Red Books of Humphry Repton, landscape gardener by Patrick Eyres and Karen Lynch. Published by New Arcadian Press http://www.newarcadianpress.co.uk/
Other books on Repton are in the pipeline.
At West Dean: The Creation of an Exemplary Garden by Jim Buckland & Sarah Wain
Gardens of the Alhambra by Dr Maria del Mar Villafranca-Jimenez & Dr Juan Domingo-Santos. This is the first comprehensive book on the subject for over 90 years, and is unlikely be superseded for many years to come. Lavishly illustrated with commissioned photography, specially commissioned plans and previously unpublished archive material, the book is written by the world’s leading experts including the former director of the site Maria del Mar Villafranca, and head of Granada University’s architecture department Professor Juan Santos.
The English Country House Garden by George Plumptre (Author) & Marcus Harpur (Photographer) – a new version.
Island Gardens: Havens of Beauty Around the British Isles by Jackie Bennett (Author), Richard Hanson (Photographer)
More than 100 of Britain’s 6,000 off-shore islands are inhabited – and where there are people, there are gardens: Lighthouse gardens; gulf-stream-soaked, tropical gardens; windswept remote gardens with giant and ancient yew trees; and gardens surrounding castles and monasteries of historical significance. Britain has more island gardens than anywhere else in the world, particularly on the inhabited islands of the Scottish Hebrides, the Isle of Wight, Anglesey and the Scilly Isles. This new book examines their many and varying characteristics and the challenges their gardeners face, the designs required in such extremes, and the skills their gardeners have mastered to survive and thrive.
The Generous Gardener: Private Paradises Shared by Caroline Donald
Author Caroline Donald gardening editor of The Sunday Times, shares the stories, in words and pictures, of more than forty private gardens, including those belonging to Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton, Jilly Cooper, William Christie, Harrison Birtwistle, Kelly Brook, Natasha Spender, Catherine FitzGerald and Dominic West, Julian and Isabel Bannerman, Penelope Hobhouse, Bob Flowerdew, Roy Lancaster, Luciano Giubbilei, and Dan Pearson.
War Gardens: A Journey Through Conflict in Search of Calm by Lalage Snow
Working in many of the world’s most dangerous war zones: Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Kashmir, the West Bank; freelance war correspondent and photographer Lalage Snow has encountered many testimonies to the triumph of the human spirit in adversity, a celebration of hope and beauty: a war garden. In Kabul, the royal gardens are tended by a centenarian gardener, though the king is long gone; in Camp Bastion, bored soldiers improvise tiny gardens to give themselves a moment’s peace; on both sides of the dividing line in Jerusalem families tend groves of olives and raise beautiful plants from the unforgiving, disputed landscape.
“War Gardens is a surprising, tragic and beautiful journey through the darkest places of the modern world, revealing the ways people make time and space for themselves and for nature even in the middle of destruction. Illustrated with Lally Snow’s own award-winning photography, this is a book to treasure.”
Oxford College Gardens by Tim Richardson (author) & Andres Lawson (photographer). This is a new edition of the book originally published in 2015. With a new cover and lower price it is a smaller hardback edition.
Charleston by Quentin Bell & Virginia Nicholson
This is a ‘refreshed’ edition of the original 1997 publication. “Gavin Kingcombe’s specially commissioned photographs breathe life into the colourful interiors and garden of the Sussex farmhouse, while updated text and captions by Virginia Nicholson capture the evolution of Charleston as it continues to inspire a new generation”.
Gardening Across the Pond: Anglo-American Exchanges, from the Settlers in Virginia to Prairie Gardening by Richard Bisgrove.
‘Richard Bisgrove explores four centuries of transatlantic influences, from the Tradescants, plant-hunting in seventeenth century Virginia, to the prairie landscapes of the 2012 London Olympic Park, and attempts to answer that thorny question – is the English cottage garden an American invention?’
The History of Landscape Design in 100 Gardens by A. Linda Chisholm
‘Through profiles of 100 of the most influential gardens, Linda Chisholm explores how social, political, and economic influences shaped garden design principles. The book is organised chronologically and by theme, starting with the medieval garden Alhambra and ending with the modern naturalism of the Lurie Garden. Sumptuously illustrated, The History of Landscape Design in 100 Gardens is for garden designers and landscape architects, design students, and gardening enthusiasts interested in garden history.’
Two Monsters under Glass: A Cultural History of Hothouse Flowers from 1850 to the Present by Jane Desmarais
Ultimate Folly – The Rises and Falls of Whitaker Wright by Henry Macrory
The Story of the English Garden by Ambra Edwards
Italian Gardens of Lake Como by Lucia Impelluso & Dario Fusaro
Green Escapes: The Guide to Secret Urban Gardens by Toby Musgrave
Setting the Scene: A Garden Design Masterclass from Repton to the Modern Age by George Carter
Great British Gardeners: From the Early Plantsmen to Chelsea Medal Winners by Vanessa Berridge
Saving Central Park: A History and a Memoir by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers
Captured Landscape: Architecture and the Enclosed Garden by Kate Baker
Gardens and Green Spaces in the West Midlands since 1700 by Malcolm Dick & Elaine Mitchell
Gardens of Style: Private Hideaways of the Design World by Janelle McCulloch
This lavishly illustrated book explores the gardens of fashion and interior designers, and demonstrates not only how they have been influenced by botanicals in their fashion creations and interior designs but have applied their creativity to their own gardens.
The Urban Garden City: Shaping the City with Gardens Through History (Cities and Nature) by Sandrine Glatron & Laurence Granchamp
‘This book provides an interdisciplinary overview of the role of gardens in cities throughout different historical periods. It shows that, thanks to various forms of spatial and social organisation, gardens are part of the material urban landscape, biodiversity, symbolic and social shape, and assets of our cities, and are increasingly becoming valued as an ‘order’ to follow.
Contributors are university staff from various disciplines in the human and life sciences, in discourse with other academics but also with practitioners who are interested in experiences with urban gardens and in promoting an awareness of their spatial, social and ‘philosophical’ goals throughout history.’
Shades of Green: My Life as the National Trust’s Head of Gardens by John Sales
Walled Gardens by Jules Hudson
How to Read Gardens: A Crash Course in Garden Appreciation by Lorraine Harrison – another pocket-sized book in the ‘How to Read..…’ series
Japan’s Master Gardens: Lessons in Space and Environment by Stephen Mansfield
Public Parks, Private Gardens – Paris to Provence by Colta Ives
Gardens of the Alhambra by Dr. Maria del Mar Villafranca-Jiménez and Dr. Juan Domingo-Santos
The Gardens of Westminster Abbey by Jan Pancheri
Paradise Gardens: the world’s most beautiful Islamic gardens by Monty Don and Derry Moore
Gunnersbury Park by Val Bott and James Wisdom
City Green: Public Gardens of New York by Jane Garmey and Mick Hales
Croome: A Creation of Genius by Catherine Gordons (Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers Ltd, January 2018)
This lavishly illustrated new book offers a new perspective on the extraordinary transformation of Croome, the visionaries who shaped it, and its impact on the cultural life of Georgian Britain.
New in 2017
Inspirations: A Time Travel through Garden History by Nadine Olonetzky (September 2017)
This book recounts the history of gardens from their likely origins in Mesopotamia to the present day. It traces the most important styles chronologically as well as the people that have influenced developments in Europe. “Whether it is an allotment, a landscape park, a cemetery, or a city park – small and large gardens interweave with the built landscape and are an inspiration for all of us.”
Joseph Banks’ Florilegium: Botanical Treasures from Cook’s First Voyage by David Mabberley, Mel Gooding and Joe Studholme (Thames and Hudson Ltd, 19 October 2017)
On his return from accompanying Captain Cook on his first voyage round the world from 1768 to 1771, Joseph Banks commissioned over 700 engravings known collectively as Banks’ Florilegium.
The Florilegium, which contains some of the most precise and exquisite examples of botanical illustration ever created, was never published in Banks’ lifetime but a complete set of the engravings
were issued in a Limited edition boxed set in 1990 under the direction of the British Museum (Natural History). This new Florilegium contains a selection drawn from the boxed set directed by David Mabberley, who has provided expert botanical commentaries, with additional texts by art historian Mel Gooding, setting the works in context as a perfect conjunction of nature, science and art. An afterword by Joseph Studholme describes the history of the modern printing
Tea Gardens by Twigs Way, (Amberley Publishing 15 October 2017).
This is another in a series of books produced by Twigs Way for the Britain’s Heritage Series
“Wonderfully illustrated with evocative contemporary images, this book charts the rise of tea gardens, their origins in earlier spa gardens, their distinctive style, their furnishings and accoutrements, their sad decline and triumphant return in the twenty-first century. It also includes a list of tea gardens that can be visited today.”
Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes by Piet Oudolf (July 2017)
Available in both Paperback and for Kindle this book offers an in-depth view into the planting designs, plant palette, and maintenance of New Yorks’ High Line.
‘It reveals a four-season garden that is filled with native and exotic plants, drought-tolerant perennials, and grasses that thrive and spread. It also offers inspiration and advice to home gardeners and garden designers looking to recreate its iconic, naturalistic style.
Featuring stunning photographs by Rick Darke and an introduction by Robert Hammond, the founder of the Friends of the High Line, this large-trim, photo-driven book is a must-have for anyone who appreciates the nature of design’
Natural Selection: a year in the garden (Guardian Faber, May, 2017) by Dan Pearson.
‘In Natural Selection, Dan Pearson draws on ten years of his Observer columns to explore the rhythms and pleasures of a year in the garden. Travelling between his city-bound plot in Peckham and twenty acres of rolling hillside in Somerset, he celebrates the beautiful skeletons of the winter garden, the joyous passage into spring, the heady smell of summer’s bud break and the flaring of colour in autumn.
Pearson’s irresistible enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge overflow in a book teeming with tips to inspire your own space, be it a city window box or country field. Bringing you a newfound appreciation of nature, both wild and tamed, reading Natural Selection is a deeply restorative experience.’
A Walk in the Park: The Life and Times of a People’s Institution (Vintage paperback, 2017), by Travis Elborough. ‘Travis Elborough excavates the history of parks in all their colour and complexity. Loving, funny and impassioned, this is a timely celebration of a small wonder that – in an age of swingeing cuts – we should not take for granted/
Sound and Scent in the Garden (Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the History of Landscape Architecture, May 2017), by D. Fairchild Ruggles.
‘While we often approach gardens as things to be seen thus engaging the rational, intellectual part of the human brain Sound and Scent in the Garden explores the more elusive experiences of sound and smell. These senses are important dimensions of garden design and performance and often have a powerful effect on the human body, yet they may also be ephemeral and difficult to study.
The contributors to the volume explore the sensory experience of gardens specifically as places where people encounter landscape in a staged manner, as a result of intentional design. How do the senses shape the experience of those places? In what ways are plants, gardens, and landscapes produced so as to stimulate the senses? What evidence do we have of historical sensory experiences? What is lost when we forget to acknowledge the sensory environment of the past or simply overlook its traces?
The volume demonstrates a wide variety of approaches to apply to the study of sensory history and illuminates this important dimension of the experience of gardens past and present, East and West.’
London’s Street Trees: A Field Guide to the Urban Forest (May 2017), by Paul Wood, a Trustee of the London Wildlife Trust
Gardens of Court and Country: English Design 1630 –1730, by David Jacques (April 2017)
The Gardens of Japan, by Helena Attlee & Alex Ramsay (April 2017)
Japanese Gardens and Landscapes 1650 -1950, by Wybe Kuitert (Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture, April 2017)
Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum: A Brief History, by Stephen Harris (April 2017)
Allotments, by Twigs Way (Britain’s Heritage Series, April 2017)
New Nordic Gardens: Scandinavian Landscape Design by Annika Zetterman (March 2017)
The Great Gardens of Cornwall: The People and their Plants by Tim Hubbard (March 2017)
Secret Gardens of the National Trust by Claire Masset (March 2017)
Robert Fortune: A Plant Hunter in he Orient by Alistair Watt (March 2017)
Place-Making: The Art of Capability Brown by John Phibbs (Historic England, |April, 2017). ” John Phibbs seeks to provide a detailed study of the motivation behind Brown s landscapes……Phibbs draws readers attention to Brown’s landscapes that comprise half a million acres across England and Wales, so seemingly natural that they are often mistaken for untouched nature. Phibbs renders these landscapes legible, exploring what physical places can tell us about the people who live among them. The book is generously illustrated with plans, archival materials, and photographs, including many newly commissioned.”
New in 2016
Garden Flora – The Natural and Cultural History of the Plants in Your Garden by Noel Kingsbury (Timber Press October 2016)Lives of Great Gardeners by Stephen Anderton (Thames & Hudson Ltd December 2016)
This new book explores the contribution of gardeners from four garden perspectives: Gardens of Ideas, Gardens of Straight Lines, Gardens of Curves, and Gardens of Plantsmanship. The work of a variety of gardeners is considered “Some have been aristocratic amateur gardeners, others professional designers with an international practice. Some have come to garden-making from sister arts such as sculpture or painting; some have been hands-on nurserymen or botanists. What they all have in common, no matter where or when they were born, is the ability to take an idea and develop it in a new manner relevant to their times.”
You Should Have Been Here Last Week: Sharp Cuttings of a Garden Writer by Tim Richardson (The Pimpernel Press Oct. 2016)
This latest book by Tim Richardson, creator of the Chelsea Fringe, contains some of his most influential and provocative columns as well as articles and essays on specific gardens, places and landscape themes.
Also by Tim Richardson, Landscape and Garden Design Sketchbooks, (Thames and Hudson Ltd, October 2015). Thirty-seven international designers have opened their sketchbooks specifically for this publication. The book features hundreds of drawings and illustrations providing ‘a continual source of inspiration for planting, design elements, colour schemes and materials, encouraging weekend gardeners, design professionals and students to draw their ideas by hand.’
The Secret Life of the Georgian Garden by Kate Felus, Tauris (July 2016)
Although not a book about Brown per se, his landscapes do feature frequently in this new book, described by The Times as ‘a pioneering work and… a thoroughly entertaining read’, which provides a social context to Georgian gardens. The book explores how people used and experienced typical elements of Browns’ designs such as circuit drives and walks, lakes and eye-catchers.
The English Landscape Garden in Europe by Michael Symes, Historic England (April 2016)
In the Gardens of Impressionism by Clare AP Willsdon, Reprint edition, Thames & Hudson (January 2016)
There has been a whole raft of new books about ‘Capability’ Brown already published, or still to come, this year to mark Brown Tercentenary. These include:
Capability Brown: Designing English Landscapes and Gardens by John Phibbs, (Rizzoli International Publications, November, 2016).
Published to coincide with the tercentenary of his birth, this book illuminates fifteen of Brown’s most celebrated landscapes. “To love the great English estates is to love the settings with which Brown surrounded them from idyllic parklands at Milton and Broadlands to structured landscapes around iconic houses at Blenheim, Burghley, Wake- field, and Chatsworth. With photography commissioned for the book, and including rarely seen archival drawings that shed light on Brown’s process, this book serves as a guide to Britain s most beloved landscapes and an exploration of the masterful mind behind their creation.”
The Hampton Court Albums of Catherine the Great by Mikhail Pitrovsky and Mikhail Dedinkin, (Fontanka., May 2016)
Published to coincide with ‘The Empress and the Gardener’ exhibition at Hampton Court this summer, this new publication reproduces in their entirety two albums of drawings by Capability Brown’s draughtsman, John Spyers, recently discovered in the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.
The 149 drawings, mainly depicting Hampton Court Palace and its surrounding parks in the years when Capability Brown was Chief Gardener there from 1764-1783.
They are considered to be one of the most complete visual records of an historic landscape ever captured before photography. Purchased by Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, in the early 1780s, they lay forgotten for over 200 years. It has been suggested that Catherine used the albums as her inspiration for the landscaping of her new English Garden at Peterhof, outside St Petersburg.
Moving Heaven & Earth by Steffie Shields (May 2016)
Lancelot Brown and the Capability Men: Landscape Revolution in Eighteenth-Century England by David Brown and Tom Williamson (July 2106)
Capability Brown: And His Landscape Gardens by Sarah Rutherford (April 2016)
Capability Brown in Kent (Kent Gardens Trust, April 2016)
A Brush with Brown – The Landscapes of ‘Capability’ Brown by Tim Scott Bolton; a book of paintings of the 18th century landscapes created by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.
General Reading on Garden History
The Oxford Companion to Gardens edited by Geoffrey and Susan Jellicoe; Patrick Goode, & Michael Lancaster (Oxford University Press, 1986, 1991).
Bibliography of British and Irish Gardens by Ray Desmond (St Paul’s Bibliographies, 1984).
British Gardeners: A Biographical Dictionary by Miles Hadfield (Zwemmer, 1980).
The Artist and the Country House: A History of Country House and Garden View Painting in Britain 1540-1870, by John Harris, (Sotheby Parke Bernet, 1979).
Plants in Garden History by Penelope Hobhouse, (Pavilion, 1992, 1994).
The Landscape of Man by Geoffrey and Susan Jellicoe, (Thames & Hudson, 1992).
The Flowering of the Landscape: English Pleasure Grounds 1720-1800, by Mark Laird (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999).
Victorian Gardens by Brent Elliott (Batsford, 1986).
People’s Parks: The Design and Development of Victorian Parks in Britain by Hazel Conway (Cambridge UP, 1991).
The Renaissance Garden in England by Roy Strong, (Thames & Hudson 1979, 1998).
Modern Garden Design by Janet Waymark, (Thames & Hudson, 2003).
The Modern Garden by Jane Brown, (Thames and Hudson, 2000).
The Genius of the Place: The English Landscape Garden 1620-1820, Hunt, John Dixon & Willis, Peter (eds.), (Paul Elek, 1975 and later editions).