Research Group lectures, talks & study days, 2009–2020

2019 – Towards a Sustainable Landscape – looking to the future

The Research Group once again organised another sell out Study Day at Chawton House in October.   Mindful of the limited resources left on our planet, the study day addressed the future of the landscape and how we could live more harmoniously with the natural environment.

Kim Wilkie, an internationally acclaimed landscape architect, whose work can be seen world wide, introduced the day by looking at the historic notion of Arcadia and what the implications are for us today.  Nigel Dunnett , Professor of Planting Design & Urban Horticulture in the Landscape Architecture Department at Sheffield University went onto talk about how he is leading the field in bringing biodiversity to city centres in a sustainable manner. And finally, Isobel Allen, who launched HAB housing together with Kevin McCloud, talked about her designs to build outstanding residential schemes where community and people are paramount and where the natural environment is treated as an important element.

We are immensely grateful to our three speakers, all of whom are experts in their field, for agreeing to take part in what was an exceptional event.

2018 – Water in Motion

The research group organised a well-attended study day last October in the lovely surrounds of Chawton House. The subject Water in Motion looked at how changing taste and developing technology influenced the design of garden features beginning with Wendy Bishop tracing the origins of fishponds, which were introduced by the Romans, to the appearance of ornamental lakes.

Sally Miller continued the story from these tranquil lakes to the grand fountains of wealthy landowners, enabled by re-discovered hydraulic theories and the genius of Paxton. Designs for wealthy clients were copied and mass- produced for the rich middle classes and for public parks.

The afternoon speaker, Robert Orford, with 45 years of engineering experience in his family business, opened our eyes to the enormous challenges he confronts on a daily basis realising not only the designs of Kim Wilkie for private clients but creating sea defences and moving tons of earth and water.

The lectures took place in the Dining Room at Chawton House with a delicious lunch served in the Great Hall.



2017 – Garden History Tuesday Talks

25 April: The Secret Life of the Georgian Garden – Speaker: Kate Feluś

16 May: Jane Austen and the Landscape Garden – Speaker: Elizabeth Proudman

20 June:  Graham Stuart Thomas-the story of his internationally renowned collection of Heritage roses at Mottisfont, and his legacy – Speaker: David Stone

19 September: ‘Remarks on Forest Scenery’, the Revd Gilpin,the Picturesque and the New Forest – Speaker: Sally Miller

17 October: The History of the British Rock Garden – Speaker: Janice Bennetts

2016 – the Research Group was involved in the Capability Brown Tercentenary celebrations:

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown Tercentenary Tree trail leaflet is now available at Hillier Gardens and Arboretum (August 2016)

The ‘Capability Brown in Hampshire’ exhibition is now at the Hampshire Record Office until the end of September 2016 – all organised by the Research Group.

For more information on Capability Brown events in Hampshire click here

Between 2011 and 2015 Hampshire Gardens Trust Research Group ran a series of study days. Speakers included nationally known lecturers and writers in garden history

2015 Study Days

  • 28 March: Women Gardeners & Garden Owners in the early 20th Century
  • 15 October: Public Parks: ‘Arcadias for All’ – Exploring their origins, development, heyday, decline, revival – and their future
    2014 Plants in Garden History: 2000 Years of Discovery (4 mornings)
  • ‘The Turning Circle’ : from the Romans to the Renaissance
  • The Renaissance flood
  • The 17th & 18th centuries: from Plant Hunter to Gardener via the Nursery Trade
  • The rise of the Professional Plant Hunter
  • The Plant Hunters’ legacy and the Role of the Botanic Gardens in plant conservation.

2013 Gardens in the Modern Landscape (5 mornings)

  • The Inspiration
  • Garden-Making Between the Wars
  • The Age of the Landscape Architect & The Garden Revival
  • Contemporary Trends in Garden Design
  • Led by the Land : the Landscapes of the Future

2012 Influences upon British Landscape and Garden Design (6 mornings)

  • Early Influences from Abroad
  • Reading Political Allegiances in the 18th. Century garden
  • Pope to Austen: how writing shaped and reflected garden making in the 18th century
  • Lake, Grot, Pool & Fount
  • Plant Hunters & Nurseries
  • The Influence of the British Garden Abroad

2011 Garden History from Tudor to Arts & Crafts gardens (6 mornings)

  • Tudor & early Stuart Gardens
  • Gardens in 17th century England
  • Allusion & Illusion in the 18th century landscape
  • Into the modern world- the 19th century garden
  • Gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement
  • The history of parks & gardens in Hampshire

We also have a programme of single lectures, usually held at Hampshire Record Office

2014: 1 May, with Hampshire Archives and Local Studies
‘An Evening with Hillier’s’ – speakers – Jean Hillier & Andy McIndoe

2012: 8 November (lunchtime)
‘The Garden as a Laboratory. The Design and Use of Domestic Gardens by Two Eighteenth-Century Doctors’ – speaker – Dr Clare Hickman

2011: 3 November (lunchtime)
‘Gardening Friends’ – speaker – Marion Mako

2010: 4 November (lunchtime)
‘Paradise of Exiles: Anglo-Florentine Gardens & Gossip’ – speaker – Katie Campbell

2009: 4 November (lunchtime)
‘Dusty Archives & Green Wellies … discoveries in the English Landscape’ – speaker – Professor Timothy Mowl