Archive for 30/01/2013

PIC00026Gardens of Court and Country: English design 1640–1730

Dr David Jacques, Garden Historian

6.30 pm, Wednesday 30 January, The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street

Most traditional histories of the English garden treat formal gardens as a single and unvaried period, filling the gap between the Elizabethan and the landscape garden, but David Jacques’s forthcoming book demonstrates that, by contrast, each generation made huge changes in the design of its gardens. The emergence of the landscape garden is shown in proper context, and connections are made to politics, religion, men’s fashion, gastronomy, the development of carriages, the symbolism of parks, foreign influence, and many other aspects of seventeenth and early eighteenth century life.

Led by the Land

Kim Wilkie, Landscape Architect

11th Annual GHS Lecture at the RHS

6.30 pm, Wednesday 20 February, Royal Horticultural Halls & Conference Centre

Kim Wilkie will explore the future of landscape architecture as set out in his new book, Led by the Land, covering projects such as Transylvania, Longwood Gardens and Boughton Park to illustrate his ideas. He will show how the ancient tradition of sculpting the land can inspire new forms and meanings, merging innovative landscapes with revered historic ones. Mavis Batey has said in interview: “All over the world people want to know how he does it”. This will be your chance to learn.

‘Harmony Compleat’ —
Music in the Garden from Renaissance Italy to Georgian England

Judy Tarling, Specialist in Historical Performance (music and gardens)

6.30 pm Wednesday 27 February, The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street

Judy Tarling will talk about how music was performed and experienced in gardens from renaissance Italy to Georgian England, illustrated with musical example and images. She will investigate who played which instruments, where, the nature of the audience if there was one, and the repertoire. Judy will show how music, from the sound of water and bird-song to fully staged dramatic performances, was an essential part of the historical garden from the 16th to 18th centuries.

A little bit of Surrey in the sun?
A hundred years of the national botanic gardens of Burma

Dr David Marsh, Garden History Researcher/Lecturer

6.30 pm, Wednesday 6 March, The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street

Maymyo was a poor relation in the family of Kew-inspired tropical botanic gardens. Established late in colonial rule by ‘amateurs’, it quickly suffered from staff turnover and uncertainty as to its role. After the war and independence it fell further into decline but has recently been ‘privatized’ by the government. Uncovering its story has been difficult but offers a different perspective on the history and political role of botanic gardens and their possible future in the developing world.

Passion, Plants and Patronage:
Three Hundred Years of the Bute Family Landscapes

Robert Peel, Vice Chair of GHS, Kristina Taylor, Vice Chair of GHSS

6.30 pm, Wednesday 20 March, The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street

Several generations of the Bute family have been intimately involved in the development and maintenance of landscapes in Scotland, England and Wales. This talk will link the personalities and landscapes, with particular reference to the two most prominent family members in the field of parks and gardens, the 3rd Earl in C18 and the 3rd Marquess in C19, and discuss the happy condition of these landscapes today.


The Garden History Society


Office (information and press enquiries): 020 7608 2409


Website for press information:

Venues and Times 2013:

11TH Annual GHS Lecture at the RHS

Lecture by Kim Wilkie (20 Feb)

Royal Horticultural Society Halls and Conference Centre.

Greycoat Street, London SW1P 2QD (Victoria, St James’s and Pimlico Stations).

Doors open at 5.45 pm, lecture starts at 6.30 pm.

Lectures by Dr David Jacques (30 Jan), Judy Tarling (27 Feb),
Dr David Marsh (6 Mar), Robert Peel (20 Mar) at

The Gallery, 70 Cowcross St, London EC1M 6EJ (Farringdon Station).

Doors open at 6.00 pm, lectures start at 6.30 pm



RHS: £15.00 in advance for members of the GHS and RHS, £18.00 for all tickets purchased at the door.

The Gallery, Cowcross Street: £8.00 in advance for members of the GHS, £10 for all tickets purchased at the door (one glass of wine included).

SEASON TICKET FOR ALL LECTURES: £43.00 members, £54.00 non-members.

A booking form can be downloaded from

THE GARDEN HISTORY SOCIETY is widely recognised for its expertise and advice. In its role as statutory consultee, its professionally qualified conservation officers are consulted by government agencies and local authorities on a wide range of issues affecting historic parks and gardens. The Garden History Society also

  • promotes the study of the history of gardening and horticulture in all its aspects
  • promotes the conservation of historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes, and advises on their restoration
  • encourages the creation of new parks, gardens and designed landscapes.

 The events at The Gallery are supported by Alan Baxter & Associates

The event at The Royal Horticultural Hall and Conference Centre is supported by

The Royal Horticultural Society


The Garden History Society

70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ

020 7608 2409

Old School Gardener

child with wheellbarrowAcross the developed world there is concern about a growing ‘disconnect’ between children and the natural world around them – increased time spent indoors, less time out playing – the scenario is well reported. School gardening projects are an important way to reconnect children with nature.

School gardening, like ‘growing your own’ seems to be on the increase in the UK as we look for ways of bridging the ‘ecological disconnect’, saving money, reducing ‘food miles’, improving food quality and strengthening local economies. There’s powerful evidence that school gardening is one, convenient and effective way of ‘learning outside the classroom’. A way of helping to engage children with the natural world and to deal effectively with some other important issues at the same time by:

  • raising academic achievement
  • promoting healthy eating
  • instilling a sense of responsibility for the world around us
  • encouraging social and community development and a ‘sense of place’
  • providing a place for unstructured, imaginative play

In Norfolk, England, the voluntary group of Mastergardeners is playing its part in supporting around 20 schools and many others are waiting to connect with a suitably trained volunteer in their area to develop new school gardening initiatives.

I’ve been helping a primary school to develop its school garden, which now has several raised planting beds (one for each class) and a recently completed wildlife pond with dipping platform and boggy planting areas. I tried to engage the children in growing food with a short session about the food they like to eat and where it comes from, why growing our own is important and the different types of fruit and veg we could grow. We ended up with each child making their own paper pot and sowing a broad bean seed – these were later transferred by the children to the school garden and formed a wonderful source of ‘free sweets’ during the summer!

making paper pots - an easy way to get children involved in 'growing their own'

Making paper pots – an easy way to get children involved in ‘growing their own’

The whole community– governors, staff, parents, children, local businesses together with ‘shopping voucher’ and grant schemes have played their part in creating this valuable resource. The new gardening year is about to kick off with a ‘Garden Gang’ (parents, children, staff and friends of the school) session on Saturday to get the beds ready, complete the greenhouse (made out of canes and plastic bottles) and plant some new apple trees.

Other Mastergardeners are playing their parts around the County. This includes several new and more established gardens at secondary and primary schools and a novel ‘inter – generational’ project in Norwich, where some spare ground behind a library has been turned into a food growing plot by children from a local school, library staff and older people from a sheltered housing scheme overlooking the site.

One secondary school gardening coordinator recently wanted to introduce children to the ideas of ‘veg families‘ and crop rotation. She printed out 56 small veg pictures and separate names – the first task was for the students to ID the veg. Then they looked at veg families (with the students placing  the different vegetables into different groups ) –  then they used their computers to create their own set of ‘Veg family prints’. Finally, they looked at crop rotation and by the end of the session they had come up with a basic 4 bed rotation over 4 years, along with a write-up explaining about why we rotate crops yearly.

school gardening a century ago- birth of the 'kindergarten'

School gardening a century ago- birth of the ‘kindergarten’

School gardening has been around a long time – originally developing as part of the formal school curriculum at a time when many more households grew their own food. There were war – time efforts to boost food production at schools and the ‘Kindergarten’ movement saw playing and being creative in an outdoor setting as the heart of nursery education.

school gardening in wartime- US style

School gardening in war time- US style

Recently in the UK the Food Growing in Schools Taskforce, led by Garden Organic was established as a response to increasing concerns about the health and well-being of children and young people, and a confidence that food growing in schools is a successful way of dealing with these concerns, delivering many benefits. The Taskforce is made up of people representing a diverse set of interests, but all with a strong belief that food growing in schools is an important activity. You can read their findings here.

Getting the whole community involved in the school garden

Getting the whole community involved in the school garden

Over the coming weeks I plan to post a series of articles about how to go about setting up and developing a school garden, so if you have any experiences or ideas to share I’d love to hear from you!

Old School Gardener

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