Association of Gardens Trusts

The Association of Gardens Trusts

Caring for historic gardens and designed landscapes

The Association, a national charity, consists of 36 County Gardens Trusts from all over England, and is affiliated to the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust. Our focus is on promoting the enjoyment of gardens and parks to the general public. We learn about designed landscapes, engage in conservation, planning and garden research, and encourage gardens in schools.

Scroll down to find out about events near you and catch up on conservation news.

See County Gardens Trusts for contacts and to enquire about membership. Get involved! Find out more about garden heritage in your area.


Garden conservation
> Garden conservation

conservation reports and projects, government legislation

Learning about gardens
> Learning about gardens

encouraging school visits, supporting school projects, creating school gardens

Plant label 1874
> Garden research

articles, book reviews, links to databases and online archives



Colonel Richard Gilbertson
(9 March 1926 - 17 February 2015)

A great rose gardener and supporter of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust, member of the Garden History Society, and a founder member of AGT and fomer AGT Treasurer, died recently aged 88 years.
His funeral will on Tuesday 10th March at 2.00 pm in St Peter's, Lampeter Velfrey, Pembroke, South Wales (Committal at 3.15 in Parc Gwyn Crematorium)
>Tributes to Colonel Richard Gilbertson

The Origins of Our Garden Roses by Colonel Richard Gilbertson



Little Sparta Trust in partnership with the Garden History Society & AGT are hosting a special fund raising gala opening of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s  garden in North Lanarkshire, Scotland on Saturday 8th  August 2015 from 11-3pm.

There will be a visual history of the making of the garden, a film extract with Ian, poetry readings and music as well as tours with the head gardener George Gilliland. Refreshments will also be available alongside art and plant souvenirs to buy.

A bus will be available to take visitors from Central Edinburgh to the venue. Tickets can be booked directly :  or through the website from 1 March 2015. Entrance £25. With return bus £35. Contact Laura on 07826 495677 for further details.



Parks & Gardens UK produces the first Gazetteer of UK War Memorial Parks and Gardens
> PG UK Gazetteer news release
The Gazetteer is freely available on the Parks & Gardens UK website gardening-in-wartime


Article by Claire Masset
Manage an historic garden - looking after or seeking funding for a heritage or listed garden project?

>More details


Friday 24 to Sunday 26 July 2015
AGT Annual Conference, incorporating the AGT AGM and Business Meeting on Friday 24 July in Newcastle
>more details


BOOKING NOW for the Regional Education Meeting of the South West County Garden Trusts

Tuesday 24 February 2015
10.30am to 4.00pm

at the Maddox Room, Stourhead, Mere. BA12 6QD
For further details and to book please contact Juliet Wilmot, Wiltshire Gardens Trust Education Co-ordinator. Email: or phone 01380 850314.


University of Reading
MERL Seminars: Discovering the Landscape

>More details



The PAXTON150 conference at The Department of Landscape, The University of Sheffield, is to commemorate Joseph Paxton (1803-65) and to evaluate the public parks legacy. It is organised in conjunction with the Landscape Institute and supported by the National Trust, English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The conference will be held on 11-12 September 2015, and will be advertised separately at a later stage. This call for papers seeks contributions that address aspects of the history of parks; Please submit an abstract of 300-500 words to Jan Woudstra, by 25 February 2015.
>More details


Dates for your Diary.............................
Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June 2015
Open Garden Squares Weekend (OGSW) will again take place in London in 2015, opening over 200 hidden and little known gardens to the public on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June. >More details


Read it here


CB300 Logo

Parks & Gardens UK Brown Landscape of the Month capability-brown. This month features Burghley.


The project aims to restore the Abbey, revitalise its internationally significant Capability Brown landscape surroundings, reveal the rich history of the site, provide visitor facilities, and provide activities and events which will involve visitors and volunteers. >More details.

November 2014 - >read it here
October 2014
- >read it here


The map showcasing over 250 Capability Brown attributed sites across the unites geography, history, landscape and the legacy of Capability Brown through its visual mapping of Capability Brown's work. >Read the map here

Ceryl Evans CB300 Project Manager
>More information and contact details

Financial Times article by Jane Owen
Capability Brown continuing to inspire restoration and landscape management at Euston in Suffolk in time for 2016! >More details >Video link

Kent Gardens Trust report for the Brown site, Valence >More details

Report including sources for Capabiliy Brown researchers: LANCELOT 'CAPABILITY' BROWN Research Impact Review prepared for English Heritage by University of East Anglia Landscape Group.

ICOMOS-UK International Conference

Click on this link to explore the CB300 site and to Discover, Learn and register your support:

Association of Gardens Trusts - CB300 Archive



Official launch of the European Institute for Gardens and Landscapes website
The European Institute for Gardens and Landscapes (IEJP), founded in 2013 in Bénouville, in Calvados, now boasts its very own website:
Designed for a European readership, the site provides, in both French and English, an agenda of the latest news, an introduction to the parks and gardens of Europe, a selected bibliography and resources for use by the associated scientific community... >More details


HLFHLF have published its State of UK Public Parks Report StateOfUKParks2014_full_report
and to coincide with this publication, English Heritage has released a report by Dr Katy Layton-Jones - 'National Review of Research Priorities for Urban Parks, Designed Landscapes, and Open Spaces'.
Research report available on-line here.

Halt UK Parks Slide into Crisis letter from Dave Morris, Campaigns Officer, National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces, amplifying the voices of the Friends Groups' movement

SAVE OUR PARKS! Protect and invest in the UK's public green spaces -
- halt the slide into crisis
- protect and invest in the UK’s green spaces
- let's make parks a General Election issue in 2015

>Save our Parks Petition


Rivington Terraced Gardens, Lancashire, elected one of Countryfiles Top Ten Lost Gardens -was shown on Sunday 30 November and included highlights of Lancashire as a whole.


Parks and Gardens UK
Parks & Gardens UK
is the leading on-line resource for historic parks and gardens providing freely accessible, accurate and inspiring information on UK parks, gardens and designed landscapes and all activities concerned with their promotion, conservation and management. Read the latest informative and inspiring Parks & Gardens UK blog here
Blog icon



Tradescant Swim
6th – 14th September 2014
Thank you to all those who contributed towards Christopher's swim in aid of the Garden Museum.
>More details

Garden Museum Journal - Summer 2014


Emma Schofield, AGT Education Schools Co-ordinator was presented with the Judges Award for "Inspiring work with children” and her school, Boston West Academy won RHS Gold the first time of entering in the East Midlands In Bloom Awards. Emma was also recently awarded the LOtC 2014 Award - more details to follow.



>More details



2015 Exhibitions at Compton Verney
>Full details
Art Happens The Dan Pearson and William Morris Meadow
Compton Verney Art Gallery successfully raises funds from the public to realise landscape designer Dan Pearson’s project.

Visual of the proposed Parterre at Compton Verney (c) Dan
Pearson Studio >More details


AGT Volunteer of the Year Award for 2014 Congratulations to Janice Bennetts of Hampshire Gardens Trust and all the other nominees. >More details

AGT/GHS Proposed Merger
Mike Dawson should be your first point of contact for any queries in relation to the merger. Check out the dedicated AGT/GHS merger website for regular updates.

AGT Eyecatcher Newsletter No 30
Autumn 2014 Edited by Liz Ware
>Click here to read

AGT Eyecatcher Newsletter No 29,
Autumn 2013 edited by Liz Ware
>Click here to read

The Garden History Society Mirco-News, Winter 2013
>Click here to read

Parks & Gardens UK > MAY NEWSLETTER

The Pulham Legacy - Newsletters
November 2014 - Read it here
May 2014 -


Description: Description: S:\HORTICULTURE\DATA Folder\IOH File System\2011\Logos\CIH\Full logo\screen\CIoH logo (Colour).jpg
The Chartered Institute of Horticulture Young Horticulturist of the Year 2015 competition is launched!
>More information
The Chartered Institute of Horticulture makes history for professional horticulture
>More information

Planning template letters for use by County Gardens Trusts available for download now.

Dorset Gardens Trust Bursary Scheme

Welsh Historic Small Grants Scheme
>More details

Historic Landscape Project WEB FORUM
Enter it from HERE and register to access CGT hints and tips, download useful resource materials, ask other members questions. Keep checking in for news and views of how other CGTs are gearing up and tackling conservation issues in their county.


English Heritage: Find out what's at risk by searching or downloading the Risk Register here

Advice concerning conservation and management of War Memorials.

Plant Heritage's Threatened Plants Project
– conserving old, rare and valuable cultivars > More details

Parks for People

Gardens Trust members please send in events information for the Whats On section of the home page and snippets of news, (i.e. short, interesting, amusing or odd items concerning gardens) to



Winter Lecture Series
Autumn through to 9 March 2015
Monday evenings, 7-8 pm (6.30 for a glass of wine)

The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street  (Entrance: through courtyard to far end, down stairs). London EC1M 6EL
LP> lecture list 2014-15


Winter Lecture Series 2015
at 70 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EJ

All lectures are on Wednesdays and start at 6.30pm
11 March
Karen Fitzsimon, Landscape Architect, Horticulturist
Order in the Landscape: Rediscovering Preben Jakobsen
25 March
Dr Jane Whitaker, Writer, Lecturer, Consultant in Garden History
Gardens Fit for a Queen: the Elizabethan Gardens at Cowdray and Bisham
>More details and booking form

Buckinghamshire Gardens Trust
Spring Talks - January to April 2015

All talks held on Saturdays at 2.30pm at the County Museum, Aylesbury.
£10 members / £12 guests
>More details and booking form


Thursday 12th March 2015
Talk on Italian Gardens & Landscape Design Today

Doors open 6.30pm, for Lecture at 7pm
Kellogg College, 62 Banbury Road, Oxford
>More details


Saturday 14 March
Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust Study Day 2015

Theme – The  Regency Era

View in the Swiss Garden
10.15 for 10.30 – 4.00 pm
Hemingford Abbots Village Hall PE28 9AH
Members £22.50, guests £27.50 to include coffee and light lunch
>More details

Saturday 14 March 2015
Study Day organised by the
Birkbeck Garden History Group

The Garden as a Battlefield
This study day will consider the influence of military engineering (e.g. fortifications) on garden design and the presence of motifs of battle in the garden. Venue: Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, Friendship Centre, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8EP (Nearest underground stations are Tottenham Court Road, Holborn and Covent Garden) -
>More details
For enquiries and to request a booking form please contact Ruth Brownlow


Saturday 21st March 2015
Devon Garden History Forum Inaugural Conference

Rowe Hall, The Mint Methodist Church, Exeter EX4 3AT
Devon History Society and Devon Gardens Trust are holding a conference to promote a new organisation The Devon Garden History Forum
>More details

Saturday 21 March 2015
Brenda Colvin Study Day

Museum of English Rural Life (MERL)
Includes display of Breand Colvin material in MERL's Reading Room from 10.30am onwards
>More details


Thusday 26 March
The Start of the Renaissance Garden in England?

BGT’s SPRING 2015 LECTURE at Shaw House, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2DR

>More details and booking form


Saturday 28 March 2015   
10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Hampshire Gardens Trust Research Group Study Day  
Women Gardeners & Garden Owners in the early 20th Century

Old Alresford Place, Old Alresford, Hampshire SO24 9DH
>More details and booking form


Saturday 16 April 2015
'Lancelot Brown and his Associates'

Study day to be held at Heathmount School at Watton-at-Stone in Herts. Speakers include Tom Williamson and David Brown and the focus will be on putting Brown into context. More details to follow.


Saturday 25th April 2015, 2pm
Talk and guided tour of Ewelme Watercress Beds, Ewelme, OX10 6HQ


>More details


Wednesday 6 May 2015
AGT, Dorset Gardens Trust in conjunction with the GHS
Research and Recording Study Day
St. Giles House, Wimborne, Dorset

(by kind permission of The Earl of Shaftesbury)
St Giles House in Wimborne St Giles, Dorset, England; home of the Earls of Shaftesbury; built in 1651.
Image by courtesy of Justin Barton and Lord Nicholas Ashley-Cooper, Shaftesbury Estates, via Wikimedia Commons.


Works taking place to conserve the shell grotto, at St Giles, by SSHConservation, 2014.
Photo by James Preston, via Wikimedia Commons.

>More details about the study day and booking form - pdf





>More details about the sudy day and booking form - word doc

>More information about St. Giles House

Great Western Avenue, Fonthill Gifford, Wiltshire SP3 6SP on TUESDAY 5th MAY 2015 (2.00pm to 4.00pm
) for those attending the St. Giles Study Day (details above) on the 6 May 2015.

We are delighted to announce that we have just confirmed details of an additional visit for those attending the St. Giles Study Day.  On the preceding Tuesday the 5th May you are invited for an informal walk in the William Beckford landscape at OldFonthill Abbey by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Stephen Morant.
Please note that only those who have booked or are booking a place on the study day can visit Old Fonthill Abbey and as places are strictly limited to 25 you will need to book a place with Teresa the AGT Co-ordinator by emailing: or phone
020 7251 2610.  
>More details


Spring/Summer Events Listings 2015
Wednesday 3 June: Day Trip to Isle of Wight
Tuesday 16 June: Dorset Self‐Drive Trip
Thursday 25 June: Private Evening Visit to The Garden Gallery, Broughton
Thursday 9 July: Romsey Self‐Drive Trip
Tuesday 14 July: Arundel Castle & Gardens Trip
>More details
>HGT event application form

Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June 2015
Open Garden Squares Weekend (OGSW) will again take place in London in 2015, opening over 200 hidden and little known gardens to the public on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June. >More details


Friday 24 to Sunday 26 July 2015
AGT Annual Conference, incorporating the AGT AGM and Business Meeting on Friday 24 July in Newcastle

The conference dinner will take place at The Buiscuit Factory, now a contemporary art gallery and visits to Croxdale Hall, Hardwick Hall landscaped garden, Durhan Cathedral, Alnwick Castle, Hulne Priory and Belsay Hall are included amongst others.
The provisionsl programme and booking form is attached here as a pdf or you can book on-line by following the link to the GHS -


Tuesday 22 September 2015
AGT, Avon Gardens Trust in conjunction with the GHS
Kings Weston, Bristol
Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown at Kings Weston: Exploring his Legacy of Comfort and Elegance
>More details






Sept 2015, 3 day conference/symposium
Wilder by Design?
Managing landscape change and future ecologies.

>More details



Cheshire Gardens Trust
Dorset Gardens Trust
Isle of Wight Gardens Trust
Welsh Historic Gardens Trust
>More details












Secret Gardens of the Cotswolds
Victoria Summerle
Book Review by Ros Delany



Suffolk Gardens Trust is pleased to announce the publication of their latest book ‘Walled Gardens of Suffolk’, the result of a decade of research to identify and record walled gardens and also to advise owners and tenants as to how they can be revitalised and the role they can play in the 21st century. 
> Suffolk GT Walled Gardens PRESS RELEASE
> Order form


Walled Kitchen Gardens of the Isle of Wight
Edited by Helen Thomas, with assistance from the Walled Kitchen Garden Project Team. In 2014 IWGT carried out a one year project to identify, record and learn about the history of walled kitchen gardens throughout the Isle of Wight. This was made possible by a Sharing Heritage grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The book is available online at or via a link on
the Project Page of the new IWGT website


John Stuart, 3rd Earl ofBute, 1713-92
Edited by Charlotte Phillips and Nora Shane

This book is a collection of short essays that focuses on Lord Bute’s botanical and horticultural interests and legacy.
>More details


George Plumptre

Photographs by Marcus Harper Frances Lincoln, London, 2014 ISBN 978 0 7112 3299 0
Hardback £25.00 (£20 Special Offer for CGT members)

The English County House Garden is written by George Plumptre, chief executive of the National Garden Scheme and author of numerous books on garden history, design and horticulture.
Plumptre has selected 25 gardens to represent the tradition of English country house gardens. >Review by Sarah FitzGerald, Dorset Gardens Trust


The New English Garden
by Tim Richardson, Photographs by ANDREW LAWSON

A Comprehensive overview of the contemporary English garden scene, by the dream team of Tim Richardson, most perceptive and insightful of contemporary writers on gardens, and
renowned garden photographer Andrew Lawson.
>More details



Author Karen Platt is pleased to announce the release of her latest garden book Karen Platt’s Common-Botanical Plant Names. The book is one of the biggest of its kind, containing 40,000 cross-referenced common plant names from around the world.  Karen Platt’s Common-Botanical Plant Names is available exclusively for download. Price 7.99 and will shortly be available at all booksellers. Contact:


Congratulations to Norfolk Gardens Trust!!
In NGT's 25th Anniversary year, their splendid new book, including a foreword by HRH Prince Charles was recently launced. Norfolk Gardens and Designed Landscapes. The book is published by Windgather Press.

Warwickshire Gardens Trust
Ever since they appeared in ancient Egypt, obelisks have retained their power. The Obelisks of Warwickshire is a guidebook to 20 notable examples, together with many others in the county. >Further details

New publications from English Heritage:
Register of Parks and Gardens Selection Guides >More details. New Designation Yearbook >More details

More book reviews




Taster Study Day - Saturday 31 January 2015

10.00am to 4.0pm at Birkbeck University of London
Garden history encapsulates a fascinating amalgam of art, architectural, landscape, horticultural and social history as well as archaeology and the evolution of garden design. The Birkbeck Garden History Group (BGHG)* wants to encourage the study of garden history by introducing the subject to people who have not been involved in it previously, although they may have an interest in one or more of the disciplines mentioned above.
>More details



Historic Gardens:Research in Action explores how archival research findings on historic gardens can contribute to garden restoration, conservation and management. More info>


The new MA Garden and Landscape History at the Institute of Historical Research, London University, is now enrolling for the autumn term 2014. >Further details



Join your local Gardens Trust now!
> Join your local Gardens Trust
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Russell Page