New Research Symposium

8th New Research Symposium at
Highbury Hall, Yew Tree Road, Birmingham B13 8QG.
Sunday 2 September 2018

The New Research Symposium is a stimulating extra dimension to the Annual General Meeting weekend. It is open to all researchers and scholars, regardless of whether they are independent or attached to an academic institution. Launched in 2011, the seven symposia have now hosted papers from 30 researchers, many of whom are also members of County Gardens Trusts, but we also warmly welcome scholars from overseas.

Researchers in all fields of activity are encouraged to submit a 200-word proposal for a paper whose subject is as yet unpublished. Any subject relating to Garden History will be considered, from explorations of little known gardens to aspects of botany, ecology, horticulture, archaeology, social history, architecture, design or sculpture. The paper will be no longer than 20 minutes (approximately 2,000 to 2,500 words) and illustrated with a PowerPoint (or similar) slide presentation.

Applicants are asked to identify their status as an independent researcher and/or member of a County Gardens Trust, or their institutional affiliation, the academic programme of study and the award outcome; or both, where appropriate.

Our Conference weekend provides an informal opportunity to meet the other speakers as well as members of the GT’s committees and Board, and provides an attentive audience eager to learn more about your eld of research.

Researchers who are interested but who have queries are invited to contact Dr Patrick Eyres for clarification.

Proposals should be sent by Wednesday 2 May 2018, to:


  • To provide a forum for the presentation of new research in the field of Garden History;
  • To encourage researchers whose subject is as yet unpublished;
  • To provide an opportunity for researchers to hone presentation skills;
  • To generate potential scholarly articles for inclusion in The Gardens Trust’s journal Garden History as well as potential submissions for The Gardens Trust’s annual Essay Prize;
  • To contribute another stimulating dimension to The Gardens Trust Annual Conference;
  • To attract new members to The Gardens Trust.


The 7th GHS Graduate Symposium

In 2017 The Gardens Trust hosted its 7th New Research Symposium, during our annual conference at the University of Plymouth.

We had presentations by Dominic Ingram on The Country Estates of Military Officers in Britain, 1700–1750; Beryl Saitch on Blanche Henrey, 1906–1983, Botanical Bibliographer; Elsie Roulston on Plantsman vs Place-maker: An analysis of James (Jim) Russell and his work in Co. Donegal, Ireland from 1953 to 1985; Doreen Wilson presents From a Scottish Shore to an Italian Lakeside: the link between Galloway House, Wigtownshire, and Villa Taranto, Lake Maggiore.

Members of the audience made several suggestions for new lines of enquiry for our researchers to follow up, and many useful contacts were made.


The 6th GHS Graduate Symposium

In 2016 The Gardens Trust hosted its 6th Symposium, now retitled the New Research Symposium, during the annual conference at Robinson College, Cambridge. Reports of the papers from our Symposium appear in our Spring 2017 issue of GT news p.9–16.


The 5th GHS Graduate Symposium

was held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
Friday 24 July 2015
(20 minute / 2,000-2,500 word papers)

We invited scholars to submit a 200 word proposal for a paper whose subject is unpublished. Symposium papers are 20 minutes only (approx. 2,000–2,500 words), with a short Q&A session afterwards. Scholars in all disciplines are encouraged to submit, and any subject relating to Garden History will be considered.

We welcomed four speakers, Erin McHugh, Kasie Alt, Dianne Long, and Nick Chibnall. Accounts of their presentations will appear in upcoming issues of GT news.

This year’s Symposium was held as part of the activities at our Summer Conference in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Attendance at the Symposium does not require attendance for the whole Conference.


The 4th GHS Graduate Symposium

held in Cardiff, UK
Friday 25 July 2014

We invited scholars to submit a 200 word proposal for a paper whose subject is unpublished. Symposium papers are 20 minutes only (approx. 2,000–2,500 words). Scholars in all disciplines were encouraged to submit, and any subject relating to Garden History was considered. Details in GHS micro-news 92a.

Our selection of speakers:

Ann Benson on
Garden historian as polymath:
discovering the lost gardens of the Dukes of Beaufort;

Claire de Carle on
The Work of Maud Grieve during World War One;

Nick Chibnall on
Villa Gardens of Liguria and the Italian Riviera;
Sadly in the event Nick was not able to attend due to ill health.

Spencer Smith on
Rills and Romance:
Gardens at the Castles of Edward I in Wales;

Amber Winick on
Landscape and national identity:
the design of the Budapest Zoological Gardens.

The Symposium was chaired by Patrick Eyres. You can read a full account of the event in our newsletter.


Report on the 3rd Graduate Symposium 2013

Once again the venue was the appropriate and convivial environment of the Garden Museum on the Lambeth embankment in London. The aims of the Graduate Symposium underpin those of the GHS as a whole by providing a professional forum for the presentation of new research in the field of Garden History and an opportunity for scholars to hone presentation skills, as well as encouraging those whose research subjects are as yet unpublished.

For the third consecutive year, GHS members turned out in strength, and responded to each speaker with questions that stimulated fascinating discussions, many of which continued among individuals and small groups into lunchtime. Not surprisingly, the consensus was that all five papers were excellent both in content and presentation.

As can be seen from the titles, we were provided with an international feast of subjects:

Jessica Tipton (PhD Candidate, University of Bristol), on
Princess Ekaterina Dashkova’s tour:
An 18th-century Russian visitor’s impressions of English gardening, 1770.

Paolo Cornaglia (PhD, Assistant Professor, Turin Polytechnic), on
French gardens and gardening families in Piedmont in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Diane James (PhD Candidate, University of Warwick), on
“An endless variety of forms and proportions”:
Indian Influence on British Gardens and Garden Architecture.

Michal Bitton (PhD Candidate, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem),
The Garden as Sacred Nature and the Garden as a Church:
Transitions of Design and Function in the Garden of Gethsemane, 1800–1959.

Alison Wear (MA Garden History, University of Bristol, 2012), on
Roberto Burle Marx, 1909–94: Painting with Nature.

Patrick Eyres, Jessica Tipton, Paolo Cornaglia, Diane James, Michal Bitton, and Alison Wear on the podium at the end of the Symposium at the Garden Museum. Photo by Matti Bitton.

The symposium was organized and chaired by Patrick Eyres and, as usual, the efficient operation of the projections was ensured by the redoubtable Charles Boot, the GHS Hon Librarian and techno chap. The theme of the conservation of designed landscapes emerged as a subtext to the day and to emphasise the Society’s commitment to this vital task, each speaker was presented with a copy of the rumbustiously splendid Indignation: The campaign for conservation by the GHS stalwarts: Mavis Batey, David Lambert and Kim Wilkie.