50 years of Garden History Journal

Mavis Batey and Edward Fawcett, contributors to Garden History journal

Our journal Garden History marks its 50th anniversary in 2022, and we want to start the next 50 years with impact. Our mission is to use this big birthday to share garden history stories with 14,000 new people across the world! We are seeking donations to help meet the costs of this ambitious celebration. Can you help us, please?

The Garden History journal was first published by the Garden History Society in 1972. Articles in the first issue covered medieval plantsmanship, restoration, gardens in Rome, and Louis XIV at Versailles. It quickly became a highly respected source of original research for the emerging garden history discipline. Since then, its reputation has grown and it has become not only the ‘go to’ journal for established garden history academics but also the journal where emerging students and knowledgeable amateurs can share their peer-reviewed research.

Garden History anniversary journal

We are excited to be publishing a special anniversary journal that will revisit 13 papers from every decade of the past 50 years, updating them with new perspectives from 2022. This will underpin our commitment to ensure that the study and research of garden history continues to grow and remains relevant both now and in the future. The founders of our organisation were visionaries who recognised the importance of garden history, a then largely overlooked subject. We are determined to do them proud and ensure the subject remains just as engaging and topical for the next five decades and beyond.

Historians and topics

Pioneers Mavis Batey and Edward Fawcett both shared their knowledge through Garden History.

Who will be in the special edition? John Harvey –  Dr David Jacques – Dr Christopher Thacker – Dr Sally Jeffery – Mavis Batey MBE – Christopher Woodward – Peter H Goodchild – Professor John Dixon Hunt – Michael Symes – John Sales – Andy Jasper – Dr Roy Strong – Dr Paula Henderson – Dr Jan Woudstra – Dr Elain Harwood – Dr Patrick Eyres – Professor Paul Elliott – Dr Brent Elliott – Professor Tom Williamson – Brian Dix – Dr Oliver Cox – Stephen Wass.

What will be in the special edition? Medieval plantsmanship – Versailles – Rousham – John Evelyn, John Beale and Backbury Hill, Herefordshire – the Picturesque – the Renaissance Garden –Garden restoration past and present – the Corbusian landscape – Ian Hamilton Finlay – Dutch gardens – From the Arboretum to the Woodland Garden – WA Nesfield’s parterre at Witley Court – the 18th century visitor at Stourhead.

Sharing Garden History

We will be celebrating this special edition with an extravaganza of coverage to ensure we share it with a wide audience. For decades now, garden history has been a hidden gem of a subject. Historic parks and gardens surround us at every community corner, yet most people have few opportunities to engage with the stories that bring these places to life and give them greater meaning today. With this anniversary we can ensure that more people across the world are introduced to and fall in love with garden history.

Our printed GT News, eBulletin, blog and social media will all be publicising this special edition and celebrating the stories and contributors within it. This will include biographies of the authors through the 50 years, to help raise awareness of the broad skillset that can be drawn into garden history; bringing to life the research featured over the decades; and social media to promote the value of protecting our shared garden history. A digital quiz will find the nation’s favourite garden history fact!

Donate to our appeal

Our budget for all this is relatively modest at around £10,000. We are fortunate that our application to the Finnis Scott Foundation has produced a contributory grant and we will also be seeking sponsorship. In addition to this, though, we are turning to you, our supporters, to ask for donations please. Any contributions would be hugely appreciated … nothing is too small!

Please donate online, or send a cheque made payable to The Gardens Trust to Teresa Forey-Harrison, The Gardens Trust, 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ.

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Painswick Roccoco Gardens, the Red House, Photo © Joab Smith