New Research Symposium

Plant with pink flowers, surrounded by mists and other green plants in a large glasshouse

The Garden’s Trust New Research Symposium is an annual opportunity to share new and unpublished interdisciplinary research relating to garden history.

It is open to all researchers and scholars, regardless of whether they are attached to an academic institution, and we welcome submissions from international scholars as well as those based in the UK. Since its launch in 2011, the symposium has hosted cutting-edge research from more than fifty researchers.


Call for Papers

We welcome submissions from researchers approaching garden history and conservation from various academic disciplines and vocational backgrounds. Papers could, for example, include topics such as: explorations of little-known gardens, aspects of botany, ecology, horticulture, archaeology, social history, architecture, design, art history, or sculpture.

The symposium will take place online on Saturday 23rd November 2024.

Please send a 200/250-word abstract for a twenty-minute paper along with a brief biography to by midnight on the 30th June 2024.

Speakers in previous years

New Research Symposium 2023
Online, Saturday 25 November 2023

Chair: India Cole, PhD candidate, Queen Mary University of London and Oxford Botanic Garden

Chi Jen Li, PhD, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Sheffield: An exploration of the work of ‘the first teacher of landscape architecture in China’, Sun Xiaoxiang

Soumyajit Basu, PhD candidate, UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded and associate lecturer in law at Birkbeck School of Law, University of London: Luther Burbank and his Santa Rosa ‘garden of invention’

Agnieszka Whelan, Master Lecturer in Art History, Old Dominion University, Virginia: Bucolic imagery in Polish theatre design in the eighteenth century

Abigail Raynock Richard, Landscape Heritage Consultant, Lafayette. U.S.A.: Last stop on the Azalea Trail: The Mouton Ram in his lost City Beautiful

New Research Symposium 2022 part 1
Online, Saturday 26 November 2022

Lisa White, Graduate, MA Garden and Landscape History, University of London: Alexander McKenzie, the 19th century Horticulturist and Landscape Designer – His Life, Career, and Legacy

Sara Tenneson, PhD University of London: Sir Reginald Blomfield  – a reappraisal

Emily Ann Francisco, Doctoral candidate, University of Delaware: Margaret Foley’s Fountain – Sculpture, Horticulture, and Imperial-ism at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition

Francesca Murray, PhD candidate, Queen Mary University of London: The Stanwick Nectarine

New Research Symposium 2022 part 2
Online, Saturday 10 December 2022

India Cole, PhD candidate, Queen Mary University of London: The Bobarts and the Oxford Physic Garden

Lisa Johnson, PhD candidate, Department of History and Art History, Utrecht University: Horticultural knowledge and exotic fruit in the Dutch Republic: Melon cultivation 1600 – 1750

Mike Cousins, PhD University of London and Independent garden historian:  Through Visitors’ Eyes – a data-driven exploration of parks and gardens of the eighteenth century

Ben de Lee, Graduate MA Garden and Landscape History, University of London and independent scholar: When Men Wore Flowers: The Correspondence of Men’s Elite Fashion and Eighteenth-Century English Gardens

New Research Symposium 2021 part 2
Online, Saturday 20 November 2021

Charlotte McLean, PhD student at Manchester Metropolitan University : Megget Valley Reservoir: Before, Then and Now

Marilyn Brown, independent researcher: ‘When the King Enjoys His Own Again’ or Leslie House: the garden you create when you win all the prizes at the Restoration.

Louise Crawley, PhD Student, University of East Anglia, : ‘Is This Not Quite Pastoral?’: Reinterpreting the Language of the Eighteenth Century Landscape Park

Suzanne Moss: post-doctoral fellow, University of York, Gardens as sites of knowledge generation

New Research Symposium 2021 part 1
Online, Saturday 4 September 2021

Scott Fulford , independent researcher, Boston, Massachusetts: The Practice of Sidney Nichols Shurcliff

Stephani Mc Phee, recent graduate in Urban Planning and Sustainability from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.: Stream Restoration as a Biophilic Urbanism Tactic

Jean Cornell:  recent PhD from the Institute of Historical Research, University of London:  Ahead of His Time? The Garden Designs of the Artist-Gardener, Lieutenant John Alfred Codrington (1898-1991)

Elizabeth Michel, independent researcher, New York: Takeo Shiota

New Research Symposium 2020
Online, Saturday 5 September 2020

Camilla Allen, PhD candidate, Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield: The forester who saw the world as a garden: the impact of practical faith and practical horticulture on the visionary forester and conservationist, Richard St. Barbe Baker

Joakim Seiler, PhD candidate in the Department of Conservation at the University of Gothenburg; Head Gardener at the eighteenth-century estate of Gunnebo House, Sweden: Management regimes for lawns and hedges in historic gardens

Rebecca J. Squires, Researcher in the Faculty of Architecture at KU Leuven University, Brussels: The Evocative Parcours: The Eighteenth-Century Picturesque Garden as Instrument of Evocation and Locus of Sensation

Rory Hutchings, Independent researcher working at the London Metropolitan Archives: Virginia Woolf’s mystic garden(s)

Further details about their papers will be found in GT News

New Research Symposium 2019
The Queen’s College, Oxford, Saturday 7 September 2019

Laurie Matthews, Independent Researcher (Director of Preservation Planning & Design, MIG inc, adjunct faculty, Landscape Architecture & Historic Preservation, University of Oregon) Landscape as Storyteller: Linking chronicles of revelry, refuge, and restraint for four generations of 16th century women to their home landscapes

Jemima Hubberstey, PhD candidate, University of Oxford/English Heritage (collaborative): “A very fine Shepherdess”: Jemima Marchioness de Grey’s role in the gardens of Wrest Park

Caroline Ikin, PhD candidate, Manchester Metropolitan University (GT and Sussex GT member): Reading Ruskin in the garden: the ideas that shaped Brantwood

Ailie O’Hagan, PhD candidate, Ulster University: Realism and Expression: visual representations of the Annesley Gardens

New Research Symposium 2018
Highbury Hall, Birmingham, Sunday 2 September 2018

Stephen Radley, PhD candidate, Nottingham University, member of Northamptonshire GT: A Landscape of Aspiration: Charles Tibbits, Humphry Repton and Barton Hall, Northamptonshire

Camilla Allen, PhD candidate, Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield: The Three Cathedrals of Trees: Glencruitten, Whipsnade, Milton Keynes

Elizabeth Michel, Independent Researcher, (PhD Modern European History, New York University): The Restoration of the garden in Berlin of the German Impressionist Painter, Max Libermann

Casandra Funsten, Independent Researcher, MA Agricultural Science (Park and Garden Design and Management) University of Palermo, Sicily (BA English & BA Landscape Architecture, University of California Berkeley): The Courtyard Garden in the “Antonino Salinas” Archaeological Museum

New Research Symposium 2017
University of Plymouth
, Friday 1 September

The Gardens Trust conference organised with the Devon Gardens Trust,
chaired by Dr Oliver Cox

Dominic Ingram, DPhil candidate in History (2nd year), Magdalen College, University of Oxford: The Country Estates of Military Officers in Britain, 1700–1750

Beryl Saitch, Independent researcher, London Parks and Gardens Trust, Surrey Gardens Trust: Blanche Henrey, 1906-1983, Botanical Bibliographer

Elsie Roulston, Graduate, MA Landscape Architecture, University of Sheffield (distinction): Plantsman vs Place-maker: An analysis of James (Jim) Russell and his work in Co. Donegal, Ireland from 1953 to 1985

Patricia Wilson, MA candidate (2nd year), Institute of Historical Research
(symposium subject independently researched while a student at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh): From a Scottish Shore to an Italian Lakeside: the link between Galloway House, Wigtownshire, and Villa Taranto, Lake Maggiore

New Research Symposium 2016
University of Cambridge
, Friday 2 September

Conference organised by Cambridge Gardens Trust for the GT

Vicky Pickering, PhD candidate, School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London and Centre for Arts and Humanities Research, Natural History Museum: Richard Richardson and his botanical exchanges in the early eighteenth century.

Advolly Richmond, Independent Researcher: Garden, Landscape and Social History: The Reverend Thomas Birch Freeman, Victorian Botanist and Plantsman.

Michael O’Sullivan, Environmental Planning Consultant and Lecturer in Environmental Impact Assessment: Doneraile Park, Co. Cork: AProvincial Park of Exceptional Pedigree.

GHS Graduate Symposium 2015
University of Newcastle
, Friday 24 July

Joint conference of GHS and AGT

Erin McHugh
History Honours, St Olafs College (Liberal Arts), Minnesota
The role of iconography within the French formal garden at Versailles.

Kasie Alt
PhD candidate, University of Texas at Austin
Fictions and Fabrications: The Gothic Folly at Wimpole.                 

Dianne Long
PhD candidate, University of Exeter
(MA in Garden History University of Buckingham)
Designed Landscapes of Industrialists 1700 – c.1820.

Nick Chibnall
D.Phil candidate, Garden History, University of Buckingham
(MA in Garden History, University of Bristol)
Villa Gardens of Liguria and the Italian Riviera.

GHS Graduate Symposium 2014
University of Cardiff
, Friday 24 July

GHS Conference

Spencer Gavin Smith
PhD candidate, Manchester Metropolitan University
Rills and Romance: Gardens at the Castles of Edward I in Wales

Ann Benson
MA in Garden History, University of Bristol (2013)
Garden historian as polymath: discovering the lost gardens of the dukes of Beaufort.

Amber Winick
Fulbrightscholar (MA, Bard Graduate Center, 2013)
Landscape and national identity: the design of the Budapest Zoological Gardens.

Claire de Carle
Candidate, MA in Garden History, University of Buckingham
The Work of Maud Grieve during World War One.                 

Nick Chibnall (unable to present due to illness, see 2015)
D.Phil candidate, Garden History, University of Buckingham
(MA in Garden History, University of Bristol)
Villa Gardens of Liguria and the Italian Riviera.

GHS Graduate Symposium 2013
The Garden Museum, London, Friday 12 July

alongside AGM of GHS

Jessica Tipton
PhD Candidate, University of Bristol
An 18th-century Russian visitor’s impressions of English gardening.

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

Diane James
PhD Candidate, University of Warwick
‘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 (Distinction), University of Bristol, 2012
Roberto Burle Marx, 1909–1994: Painting with Nature.

GHS Graduate Symposium 2012
The Garden Museum, London
, Friday 13 July

alongside AGM of GHS

Leslie Diane Hunter
MA candidate (18th Century British History), University of Nevada, Las Vegas
The Secrets of the Hampton Court Maze.

John Hemingway
M.Phil candidate (West Midlands History), University of Birmingham
An Interim Study of the Influences of William Shenstone on Other Gardens in Eighteenth Century England.

Anne King
Independent Researcher
Thomas Main, Gardener: Changing the U.S. Landscape, a Washington, DC perspective, c.1812.

Winnie Y.L. Chan
DPhil candidate, Institute for Chinese Studies, University of Oxford
Looking for Antiquity and the New: The Chinese Hong Merchant Gardens of Guangzhou in the Nineteenth Century.

Elaine Taylor
MA Landscape, Heritage and Society, University of Chester
A Garden for Lord Leverhulme: Roynton Cottage, near Bolton, Lancashire.

GHS Graduate Symposium 2011
University of Keele, Friday 22 July

GHS Conference

Sarah Hundleby
MA Garden History, Birkbeck College, University of London
The Development of Bramham Park, 1700–1731

Sarah Law
PhD candidate, Department of Geography, Nottingham University
The Rufford Abbey Estate in the early eighteenth century in the context of hunting, in particular the emerging sport of fox hunting

Oliver Cox
D.Phil (History) candidate, University College, Oxford
Jeremiah Dixon, Alfred the Great, and the merchant fathers of Leeds in the late eighteenth-century

Gabriele Mulè
Scholar of Garden and Landscape History, University of Palermo
The Extended Garden. Sicilian landscape as an English garden: from Castelvetrano to Selinunte following Henry Swinburne, Grand-Tourtraveller

Elaine Mitchell
MA (West Midlands History) candidate, University of Birmingham
‘A fine crop of peaches, and several hundred geraniums’; the flowering of Thomas Clark’s metallic hothouse manufactory in the early nineteenth century