The Landscape Guide

Data collection


Conservation movement - Garden conservation - Comparisions - Education - Garden historians - Data collection - Garden Archaeology - Data storage - Data processing - Conservation plans - Case study

Information about the history of a garden can be obtained from a wide range of sources. They are covered in a number of publications and are reviewed in outline below:

  1. The garden. This is the key resource and garden archaeology may be required.
  2. Published maps. They are generally accessible and a delight to use.
  3. Un-published maps. More difficult to find but can be invaluable.
  4. Aerial photographs. This is an increasingly important resource, because the quality and quality of photographs is increasing.
  5. Historic photographs. Available in libraries, books and private collections.
  6. Paintings. More often a glimpse of the garden than a detailed painting.
  7. Books. The number of publications dealing with garden history continues to increase.
  8. Articles. There are specialist garden history journals and numerous articles in other publications (on history, travel, country life, art, architecture etc)
  9. Newspapers. Local papers often contain information about gardens. National papers have gardening editors and specialist correspondents.
  10. Word of mouth. People who have had a previous involvement with the garden should be identified and interviewed (family members, estate workers, archivists, visitors etc).
  11. Radio and TV archives. Not easy to use but of significant potential value.
  12. The world-wide web. There are general websites dealing with individual gardens and genealogical websites with information on the families which made the gardens.
  13. Public archives. Most public authorities maintain archives.
  14. Private archives. Families often maintain their own document collections.

Depending on the time-budget, a good to start a project is to allocate an hour, a day or a week to preliminary investigation of each of the above potential information resources. Following this ‘survey of the field’, a strategy can be drawn up for the sequence in which the various lines of inquiry should be explored.

Books on heritage garden conservation

John Harvey Restoring Period Gardens (1993) Shire Publications Ltd ISBN: 0747802009

David Lambert Researching a garden's history from documentary and published sources (1991) : Landscape Design Trust in association with the Centre for the Conservation of Historic Parks and Gardens ISBN: 0951837702

Naomi F.; Gleason Miller (Editor )The Archaeology of Garden and Field (1998)
University of Pennsylvania Press ISBN: 0812216415

A.E. Brown (Editor) Garden Archaeology (1991) Council for British Archaeology
ISBN: 1872414176