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The Historic Gardens of England

Tim began his survey of the historic gardens and landscapes in England with the publiction of Gloucestershire in 2002. This was followed by Dorset, Wiltshire, Cornwall, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Somerset, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Cambridgeshire & The Isle of Ely. Tim has recently been working alongside consultant, Dr Jane Whitaker, researching and visiting gardens for Hampshire, which was published on 10 May 2016.  


Tim quickly discovered that each county has its own distinctive topographical character and specific periods when gardens and landscapes were created - Edwardian architectural layouts in Dorset to compliment existing sixteenth- and seventeenth-century houses; the remains of ornamental medieval enclosures in Hampshire; concentrations of gardens for the nouveaux riches, designed by Humphry Repton, around big cities like Bristol; modern twentieth-century gardens in the home counties near London.


Writing on garden history has tended to focus on polite landscapes set around iconic country houses - Blenheim, Stourhead, Castle Howard and Stowe - whereas the real garden history of this country can only be written when such county-wide surveys are carried out to discover what was really happening on the ground in any period.


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Tim describes his approach as a combination of green wellies and dusty archives - exploration of all the sites on foot, followed by research into the archives to piece together the history of any given garden or landscape.