Research Group lectures, talks & study days, 2009–2019

*******SOLD OUT*****


‘Towards a Sustainable Landscape – looking to the future’

taking place on

Wednesday 23rd October 2019
at Chawton House, Alton, Hampshire

Mindful of the limited resources left on our planet, Hampshire Gardens Trust’s Study Day this autumn will be addressing the future of the landscape and how we can live more harmoniously with the natural environment. We are immensely grateful to our three speakers all of whom are experts in their field,  for agreeing to take part in what promises to be an exceptional event.


10.30 – 11.30
English Land
Speaker Kim Wilkie
The whole English Landscape Movement is based on the stewardship of the land and the healthy
long-term relationship of humans growing food in balance with natural systems – Arcadia.

 11.45 – 12.45  
Nature Enhanced: High-Impact, Low-Impact, Climate – Adapted Landscapes
Speaker Nigel Dunnett
To meet the challenges of climate change, and increasing urbanisation, we need to hugely increase the amount of soils, nature and vegetation in our cities.  And we need to do this in a sustainable way, that reduces water, energy and chemical usage, and promotes biodiversity.  We need a radically different approach, one that puts people first, and that is exuberant and overwhelming in its beauty, provoking deep, uplifting, joyful and sublime emotional responses.  An approach that is  immersive, engaging all the senses, drawing people in as actors and participants, rather than merely as observers.

2.00 – 3.00  
Reality Check : The Trials and Tribulations of a Well-Intentional Developer
Speaker Isabel Allen
The first thing we do on a site is perform a proper analysis of its natural characteristics, the topography. the wildlife, the trees ….everything that happens on a site stems from what is there.

click here for biographical notes on our speakers

The day will begin at 10.00am with registration & coffee or tea.   The lectures will take place
in the Great Hall. A buffet lunch will be served in the dining room which is up a short flight of steps.

  The cost for the day will be £50.00 for HGT members |   £55.00 for non – members
Please click here to download a booking form





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