After its extremely successful launch in 2012, we are delighted to announce the return of our introduction to the history of gardens from the sixteenth century to the present. Taught in ten weekly sessions at the IHR from 11:00 - 14:00, it will provide both an overview of the development of gardens from the early modern world to the twenty-first century, and practical training in all the skills necessary to conduct research in garden history, introducing the study of relevant archival material from archaeology, architecture, cartography, horticulture, manuscripts, paintings and other works of art.
This course is an introduction to the history of gardens from the sixteenth century to the present. Taught in ten weekly sessions at the IHR from 11:00 - 13:00, it will provide both an overview of the development of gardens from the early modern world to the twenty-first century, and practical training in all the skills necessary to conduct research in garden history, introducing the study of relevant archival material from archaeology, architecture, cartography, horticulture, manuscripts, paintings and other works of art. As well as a variety of formal teaching methods, students will be given practical training through discussion sessions, visiting museums, libraries, and sites. An essay will be set, on a subject chosen by the student from the course. The teaching programme is TO BE CONFIRMED but is provisionally as follows:
Week 1 (Thursday 3 October) Using Maps and Surveys to Discover Gardens – Dr Ann Benson
Historians of the early modern world lack the obvious archival sources for the later centuries, and this session will look at pre-Ordnance Survey maps and surveys and where to find them, their reliability, and other sources of information to discover gardens.
Week 2 (Thursday 10 October) Archaeology - Brian Dix
Methods of study in the field, the use of plans, maps and contemporary manuscripts.
Week 3 (Thursday 17 October) Paintings and Drawings as Sources for Garden History – Christine Lalumia
Paintings and drawings of gardens that once existed can be used as sources to understand both early garden history and the society in which they were created. Later, photographs, diaries, and journals such as the Gardeners' Chronicle from 1841, augment the visual image, showing the swing away from the eighteenth century pastoral image and the landscape garden. However paintings and drawings continue to describe the formality and the colour theory of the nineteenth century, and the later swings between formality and naturalism to the present day.
Week 4 (Thursday 24 October) Architectural Drawings as Evidence of Garden Design – Dr Paula Henderson at the RIBA/V&A
The study of garden history is greatly enhanced by careful investigation of architectural drawings. Important documents for buildings frequently include information about gardens, garden buildings and parks. The Drawings Collection at the RIBA/V&A holds architects' plans for important Elizabethan and Jacobean houses and their gardens, architectural publications on late 17th century formal gardens, and drawings and plans for some of the most significant gardens of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. A visit to the Drawings Collection will allow students to look at primary documents as well as published records of early gardens.
Week 5 (Thursday 31 October) The Seventeenth-Century Garden – Dr Sally Jeffery
New ideas on garden making in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries came to England from Italy, including classical literature, architecture, sculpture, and hydraulic engineering. Scholarly publications and other sources including accounts, plant lists, diaries, letters and descriptions that accompany drawings, engravings and painted views, help to guide the researcher. Case studies such as Wilton and Ham can be used to illustrate the documentation available for research.
Week 6 (Thursday 7 November) The Eighteenth-Century Garden – Michael Symes
The role of research in investigating the eighteenth century garden shows a need for context and understanding. Archival sources include estate records and accounts; family papers; travellers' diaries and visitor descriptions; and bank accounts.
Week 7 (Thursday 14 November) The Nineteenth-Century Garden – Dr Brent Elliott at the RHS Lindley Library (TBC)
The Lindley Library has a wide collection of manuscripts that include the work of plant collectors and garden designers. An introduction to horticultural nomenclature will help those who need to pursue this skill further. There is a good collection of gardening periodicals from the nineteenth century.
Week 8 (Thursday 21 November) Using Photographic Images in Garden History - Dr Rebecca Preston
Photographic images, from the land and the air, became useful sources for historians as cameras became available in the 19th century, and aero-planes in the early twentieth.
Week 9 (Thursday 28 November) The Garden Museum – Christopher Woodward , Director
This will take place at the Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, where Christopher Woodward will demonstrate the archival resources of the museum, and suggest sources for future research helpful for the students.
Week 10 (Thursday 5 December) The Twentieth and Twenty First Centuries - Dr Janet Waymark
This period addresses landownership, style, the shifting boundaries between architect, landscape architect and plantsman as different people took up the designing of gardens and landscapes over time. The importance of the Edwardian period's formality can be followed in the use of estate papers. Later census records and OS maps show the growth of the middle classes, smaller houses and gardens. Landscape architects were recognised professionally in 1929, gradually displacing the architects . Papers held at the Landscape Institute and the RIBA, aural collections at the British Library, and information coming from public events such as the Chelsea Flower Show, are introduced as providing evidence of changes of style, together with influences from Europe from the 1980s.