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.
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).