Welcome to Garden History Grapevine



We’re Letta Jones, David Marsh and Stephen Smith  – all experienced and enthusiastic lecturers and researchers in the history of gardens, landscape and horticulture.  We noticed that there were fewer and fewer garden history courses being laid on by institutions across the country and decided we’d try and do something about it, because we also noticed that there was a big demand for lively and informative ‘leisure’ courses, and for in-depth more specialist training and research based courses.


View from the roof of Broughton Castle, nr Banbury

View from the roof of Broughton Castle, nr Banbury

We’ve been working with all the big horticultural organizations  to try and stimulate and co-ordinate efforts to alter this, and its beginning to pay off.  In particular we’re working with The Gardens Trust to develop garden history courses outside of London.

Over the last year or so,  in conjunction with the Birkbeck Garden History Group, [for more info see:  https://birkbeckgardenhistorygroup.wordpress.com]  we ran our first three short courses offering a basic introduction to garden history. These proved a big success so we’re planning to run that again soon..



At the same time we’ve persuaded City Lit, the country’s biggest provider of adult education, to run a series of much longer courses looking at the subject chronologically over the next 4 years. Last term we looked at Mediaeval and Tudor Gardens, and in this term we’re looking at 17thc gardens.


In the autumn we’ll be running one on the lead-up to the Landscape garden covering the gardens and designers from the late 17th and early 18thc, and then following that in the spring of 2018 we’ll look at the Landscape Garden.

For more on these see:   http://www.citylit.ac.uk/courses/history-culture-and-writing/history/garden-history

We’ve also been running some more specialist courses based at the Institute of Historical Research.  The first was on the History of Botanic Gardens, and currntly we’re running one on research skills and sources and you can find details of the forthcoming ones on the Courses page.

from In the Garden  with the Totterings, copyright Annie Tempest

from In the Garden with the Totterings, copyright Annie Tempest

You’ll find more detailed descriptions and outline proposals of all of these on Eventbrite: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/the-garden-history-grapevine-9001196382



We operate as individuals, working in co-operation rather than working for a business. And we all have other interests that we like to pursue as well.  This gives us more freedom to pick and choose what we do, but it also means that we get the advantage of working with like minded colleagues, and building up an audience of equally enthusiastic and lively people.  We’d love you to come along to one of our classes or study days and see for yourself!

We’re also looking for new colleagues who want to work with us in the future. If you want to discuss the possibilities with us then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our email is gardenhistorygrapevine@zoho.com

Melbourne Hall, Derbyshire

Melbourne Hall, Derbyshire

If you want to know more about us then follow the links to our own individual websites.

Letta:  http://lettajones.co.uk

David:  www.gardenhistorytalks.com

Stephen: http://www.srasmith.co.uk

Version 2

In the new gardens at Hidcote, Gloucs


About Parks and Gardens UK

Parks & Gardens UK is the leading on-line resource for historic parks and gardens providing freely accessible, accurate and inspiring information on UK parks, gardens and designed landscapes. Email - info@parksandgardens.org. Website - www.parksandgardens.org
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