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Historic garden conservation

A 1835 estate map of the landscaped parkland at Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire, England.

Historic garden conservation is a specialised type of historic preservation and conservation or restoration concerned with historical and landmark gardens and designed landscapes.


  • Profession 1
  • Education 2
    • United Kingdom 2.1
  • Public protection 3
    • United Kingdom 3.1
  • Organisations 4
    • Australia 4.1
    • United Kingdom 4.2
    • United States 4.3
  • Examples of restoration 5
    • United Kingdom 5.1
  • See also 6
  • External links 7
  • References 8


Practitioners predominantly come from backgrounds in horticulture, garden design, landscape design, and landscape architecture. To prepare a management plan for a historic garden, such experts require knowledge and skills in environmental design, horticulture, landscape history, architectural history, and management. Specialist educational programs are available (see section below).

One of most famous historical landscape architects, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (1716 - 1783).

Historic garden restoration is the professional task of restoring historic gardens to the character they had at a previous point in history. Since the use of old gardens is in flux, this normally involves a consideration of current and future use. The job of researching historic gardens and preparing a policy for their conservation involves landscape archaeology, historic knowledge, design judgment and technical skill in horticulture and construction.


United Kingdom

Several universities and colleges in England run undergraduate and postgraduate courses related to historic garden conservation.

Public protection

United Kingdom

Statutory protection exists for registered parks, gardens and designed landscapes. There are separate heritage registers maintained for each of the four countries of the United Kingdom:




  1. ^ "Historic Parks and Gardens". English Heritage. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Historic Parks and Gardens". Cadw. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Gardens and Designed Landscapes". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Historic Parks, Gardens and Demesnes". NIEA. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  5. ^ The Gardens Trust
  6. ^ BBC News Croome parkland restored by National Trust (4 October 2014)


  • Historic Gardens Foundation
  • Garden History Society
  • Garden Museum
  • The Garden Conservancy

External links

See also

Recent and ongoing examples of garden conservation and restoration in England include Lowther Castle in Cumbria, Lever Park in Lancashire, Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire, Croome Court in Worcestershire,[6] Wrest Park in Bedfordshire, and the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall.

Restoration work at Wrest Park.

United Kingdom

Examples of restoration

The Garden Club of Virginia has restored many of the most notable historic gardens in Virginia since its founding around 1913. A Historic Garden Week is run, in part to raise money for restorations.

There is also the California Garden and Landscape History Society for events and education in California specifically.

In the United States, The Garden Conservancy actively assists in the preservation of notable gardens and designed landscapes in the country.

United States

In London there is the Garden Museum, covering all aspects of gardening history and with a large and growing collection of historic objects such as old tools and plans.

The Welsh Historic Gardens Trust is a similar society specifically for gardens, parks and landscapes in Wales. Most of the counties of England also have their own trust, which were represented by the Association of Gardens Trusts, which since 2015 forms part of The Gardens Trust.

The Garden History Society is the oldest such society in the world, forming in 1966. It became The Gardens Trust[5] in 2015, having merged with the Association of Gardens Trusts. Its aims are to study garden history and conserve historic gardens. Since 1995 it is a statutory consultee on proposals affecting registered parks, gardens and landscapes in England. It has about 1,500 members and publishes the Garden History journal twice-yearly, as well as a regular members' newsletter. The society has an active group for Scotland, with its own regular newsletter and conservation officer.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the National Trust, and likewise in Scotland the National Trust for Scotland, own or manage many country houses and/or the gardens and parkland attached to them, as well as other treasured gardens, parks and landscapes, on behalf of the nation.

The Baroque terraced garden at Powis Castle in Wales, restored in the early 20th century and now cared for by the National Trust.
United Kingdom
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