Association of Gardens Trusts

Caring for historic gardens and designed landscapes

We are now called The Gardens Trust
On 24 July 2015 we merged with our sister organisation The Garden History Society, representing the counties of England and Wales. You can read more about this below in the News section. This website will remain in place for the immediate future, but we will be migrating the content from both organisations to our new website in due course.

We now represent the voices of some 8,000 people, worldwide, in the combined organisation. As the only UK charity in the heritage ‘sector’ to have been granted a statutory role by government, our conservation team, working closely with our county gardens trust colleagues, now assesses all planning applications related to registered gardens and landscapes in England and Wales. We will continue to institute campaigns and lobby government at all levels on issues relating to historic gardens. We have an active membership and an exciting programme of events. 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



22 September 2015
Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown at Kings Weston: Exploring his Legacy of Comfort and Elegance

Places still available - BOOK NOW


We are now called The Gardens Trust.
On the 24 July 2015 we merged with our sister organisation the Garden History Society.  

The main aims of the newly formed trust are:

  • To speak with a more powerful voice for the protection of parks, gardens and designed landscape;
  • To play a key garden conservation role in the planning system as a statutory consultee;
  • To provide support to strengthen the local activity of the County and Country Gardens Trusts;
  • To be an internationally regarded centre of excellence in the study of garden history;
  • To live within the means of the merged organisation and be financially sustainable over the long term.


>Read the full Press Release here

Steffie Shields, Lisa Watson, Dominic Cole and Jim Bartos, sign the merger document at our Newcastle Conference.

Steffie Shields, Lisa Watson, Dominic Cole and Jim Bartos, sign the merger document at our Newcastle Conference.


Presentations at The AGT AGM on Friday 24 July 2015 to Gilly Drummond and Lorna McRobie
>More details

Presentation of Narcissus ‘Gilly Drummond’ by Steffie Shields to Gilly Drummond

The Scrapbook, Memories of Gardens Trusts, which was presented to Gilly Drummond and Lorna McRobie at the AGT AGM on Friday the 24 July, which celebrates the work of the AGT/CGTs can now be viewed at:
MEMORIES of Gardens Trusts
If you would like to purchase a copy of the book please follow the link below:
Memories of Gardens Trusts - Blurb Book Preview


The umbrella organisation for the UK's Friends of Parks Forums and the Friends Groups movement
Save and Protect UK Parks
Let's make the protection and improvement of our local open spaces a priority!
Please join the effort by widely promoting the 'Save Our Parks' UK petition:
>Save our Parks UK Petition.
>More details



" Gardening groups around the UK are devoting their free time to helping others, growing together and creating a space for everyone in their local area to enjoy. The Green Fingers blog will always be dedicated to bringing gardeners and communities together and we think that the spirit these groups have shown deserves to be celebrated. So to share with you a few of the amazing people and projects devoted to their communities, here’s our collection of inspiring gardening projects from 2015."
Click on the link below to discover these projects - please be patient as it takes a few seconds to fully load! but it is worth it.


St Giles House and Park, Wimborne St Giles has been nominated for two awards - the rescue of the House and Park and for the Shell Grotto.
Also nominated are: The Kings Weston Action Group for the rescue of The Kings Weston Estate
Please vote now at: angel-awards. (Voting has now closed, the last date for voting was the 16 August.)
The Winners will be announced here later.


presented to KATE HARWOOD
of Hertfordshire Gardens Trust at the AGT AGM on Friday 24 July by Gilly Drummond, OBE DL.


>More details


WE FEEL IT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THE PETITION ORGANISED BY THE HERITAGE ALLIANCE.  We are calling on the Government to take into consideration key points during the Spending Review this summer - please sign the e-petition to ensure that the UK Government is aware of the value of heritage to England’s social, cultural and economic well-being. PLEASE SIGN NOW AT:
It is very easy just name and email (kept confidential) - THANK YOU


Many congratulations to Dominic Cole, Chairman of the Garden History Society, for the OBE award in the recently announced Birthday Honours from HM The Queen for services to garden conservation.



Isle of Wight Historic Environment Action Plan for Designed Landscapes >More details
The HEAP is published on-line at:

Caldwell's Nurseries Project Online
Cheshire Gardens Trust volunteers hope you enjoy exploring their website. This is a story of Cheshire's gardens and gardeners told through the archives of Caldwell's Nurseries of Knutsford. The nurseries operated for more than 200 years, until they closed on 31st January 1992.

CB300 Logo


Golden Moments of Landscape
Steffie Shields discusses the relevance of ‘Capability’ Brown (1716–1783) for today’s gardeners, farmers and foresters Golden_moments_of_Landscape_Lincs_Life_article
with kind permission of Lincolnshire Life magazine

Visit to find out more and to sign-up for updates in the run up to Capability Brown Festival 2016.

Nationwide Festival marking 300th Birthday of Capability Brown gets major funding boost

The Capability Brown Festival, which will celebrate the 300th Birthday of the ‘father of landscape architecture’ with a programme of nationwide events and exhibitions in 2016 has been awarded £911,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). >More details
>Capability Brown Festival website
see below for further updates and news

CB300 Interactive Map
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

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

Association of Gardens Trusts - CB300 Archive

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

Historic Landscape Project Resource Hub
Enter it from HERE and register to access CGT hints and tips, download useful resource materials.


AGT Eyecatcher Newsletters
No 31 >read it here (February 2015)
No 30 >read it here
No 29 >read it here

The Garden History Society
Garden Museum Journal - Summer 2014
Mirco-News, Winter 2013

>read it here

Parks & Gardens UK > MAY NEWSLETTER

read it here

The Pulham Legacy - Latest Newsletter
April 2015 Newsletter -

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: europeangardens.
>More details

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

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

10 to 16 September 2015
Garden History Society Study Trip to the Gardens of Normandy
This Study Tour to Normandy is designed to highlight the range of gardens to be admired just on the other side of the Channel.
>Full itinerary and further details


Friday 18 September 2015
Painshill Landscape Garden

Guided Tour by Michael Symes, garden historian
near Cobham, Surrey, KT11 1JE. Painshill is a beautiful 18th-Century landscape garden. The 158-acre wonderland has something for everyone. Discover mystical follies, including the restored crystal grotto, historic planting, North
American trees and shrubs, and spectacular views
over lakes to the Turkish tent and over Surrey.
>More details


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
>Kings Weston flyer and booking form - word doc
>Kings Weston flyer and booking form - pdf





September 2015
Three day conference/symposium
Wilder by Design?
Managing landscape change and future ecologies.

>More details


Saturday 3 October 2015
9.45am to 16.00pm
The Swiss Garden and Bedfordshire Gardens Trust
‘Durability Guaranteed’…?
A study day to celebrate Pulhamite rockwork and its conservation

>More details and booking form


Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 October
The Walled Kitchen Garden Network Annual Forum 2015

The venue will be the magnificent walled kitchen garden and newly restored 18th century mansion at Croome Court near Pershore, in Worcestershire. >More details


Thursday 15 October 2015
Hampshire Gardens Trust Study Day
'Public Parks - Arcadias for All'

The title “Public Parks - Arcadias for All” will cover the history of public parks from the first access to the Royal Parks in London, through the Victorian hey-day to the 20th century decline and revival - and current and future threats. Among our speakers are two well-known experts in the field: Dr Brent Elliott, author, and historian of the RHS, and David Lambert, a Director of the Parks Agency which specialises in the conservation and management of public parks. >More details


Saturday 31 October 2015
GHS in assocation with the AGT Autumn Study Day

Freemasonry and Masonic Symbolism in Gardens
at Freemasons’ Hall, London >More details


11 & 12 November 2015
Classical Influences on Georgian Stourhead
Prof. John Harrison

This is a 2-day meeting to be held at Stourton Memorial Hall. Day 1 will deal with classical influences on landscape gardens in general and Day 2 on topics specific to Stourhead. We have an excellent faculty, including Michael Symes, Richard Wheeler & Dudley Dodd and presentations from notable classicists and historians, as well as from Stourhead Garden and Estate Manager Alan Power.
>More details and booking

WHAT'S ON 2016

Saturday 16 April 2016
'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.




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


New publication from NPE and NAAONB -
'So much more than the view...'
England’s most iconic landscapes – a hidden economic powerhouse
Far from being sleepy backwaters, England’s finest landscapes, National Parks and AONBs, contribute more than £20bn each year to our economy – similar to that of Birmingham.



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. 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

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



Join your local Gardens Trust now!
> Join your local Gardens Trust
"My thought is always 'How little can I do', rather than how much, to achieve the most telling result."
Russell Page