Garden History Short Courses (1-3 days)

The Garden History Grapevine

~ none current ~

The Garden Historians

The Unique Gardens of Portugal will look at Portuguese gardens within their own social and political history, including influences from Italy, France, Spain and England. It will also look at the use of plants brought back from voyages to exotic places, as well as the distinctive use of Portugal’s distinctive azulejos over the centuries.

Thursdays 10.30 – 12.30 from 26 September – 28 November 2019

The Anglo-American Gardens of Tuscany will explore the writers, garden designers & garden owners based in and around Florence at the turn of the 20th century.

Thursdays 13.30 – 15.30 from 26 September – 28 November 2019

For further information and to book visit

Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Cambridge

STUDY DAY – Garden History in 10 Objects: Join garden historian Letta Jones for an interactive day featuring a ‘hands on’ sessions with ten fascinating objects Friday 1 November 10.00 -16.00 Cost £70.00

To book

Cambridge University Department of Continuing Education


10:00 The drivers of plant hunting (then and now)
11:15 Coffee
11:45 Where and how to go plant hunting
13:00 Lunch
14:00 The great plant hunters
15:15 Tea
15:30 The modern-day plant hunters
16:45 Day school ends

Tutor – Dr Sandy Primrose

For further details

Oxford  University Department of Continuing Education, Oxford

Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance
Weds 25 – Fri 27 September 2019
This 2-day course will explore the concept of Significance and its relevance to the planning process, including consideration of why heritage matters, assessing significance and preparation of Statements of Significance and how they can be used.

Woman & Gardens
Friday 29 – Sunday 31 May 2020
This weekend course will seek to document, explore and debate the pioneering contributions made by women to the development of gardens and landscape design from the medieval period to the present. New and exciting research will be presented to illuminate the roles of women as designers, patrons, writers, botanists, craftswomen and artists and to explore the rich and varied possibilities from combining gender history and garden history. Includes a half-day visit to Wrest Park.

The Plant Hunters
Saturday 13 June 2020: 09.45 -17.00
From the latter part of the 16th century up until the outbreak of the First World War a series of professional plant hunters brought back thousands of novel plant species from many corners of the globe. Many of these plants have since become garden favourites. This day school will concentrate not just on the plants that were introduced but also the lives, times and expeditions of a range of the more significant plant hunters. It will also show how history, politics and fashion played a role in the development of British gardens.

For full information and to book 

Denman College, Oxfordshire

Monday 2 September – Wednesday 4 September 2019
This course will explore the history and development of Oxford college gardens from their monastic foundations to the present day. Visits will be made to several gardens and others will be experienced through discussion and colourful presentations.

Monday 21 October – Wednesday 23 October 2019
This course will explore the history of Chiswick House – one of the most glorious examples of 18th Century Neo-Palladian British architecture, a unique collaboration between Lord Burlington and his protégé William Kent; and Osterley Park and house, redesigned by Robert Adam in the late 18th century for the Child family.

Denman College offers a wide range of garden history-related short courses. Courses in 2020 include: Cotswold Gardens (29 April – 1 May, 2020 and 18 May – 20 May 2020); Oxford College Gardens Part I (24 – 26 August 2020); Special Gardens of Hampshire ( 20 -22 May 2020); Gardens of Delight (15 – 17 June 2020);

For more information and to book visit

The City Literary Institute

City of London gardens: their history and botany
Monday 28 October 2019: 10:15 – 16:30

Discover the delights of some small gardens in London’s Square Mile, where rich planting enhances historic sites. Special trees are a highlight. Practical plant identification will be provided at City Lit in the morning, with a guided walk in the afternoon.

More information

Garden history in 10 objects: a hands-on introduction to the history of British gardens and horticulture.
Saturday 23 November 2019: 10.30 -16.30

Described as ‘a fun day with a serious purpose’ this introductory day is aimed at those interested in knowing more about the history of our gardens, who made them and why? There will be both hands-on investigation of garden-related objects and lively illustrated lectures. More information.