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




We are now called The Gardens Trust.
We have now (on 24 July 2015) merged with our sister organisation the Garden History Society.  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.

>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



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.
The last date for voting is the 16 August.


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 THIS 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)


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.


Dominic said "This is good for the 'industry' and everyone else who also works hard "



10 to 16 September 2015
For members of the AGT and GHS to enjoy the superb landscapes and gardens of Normandy > Further details


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.


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.

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


Dr Keith Goodway
Dr Keith Goodway, former Chairman of the Garden History Society, died suddenly recently. Keith was an expert on the work of landscape designer William Emes (1729 or 1730–1803) and a great supporter of Staffordshire Gardens Trust. Keith had close connections to Keele University and Arboretum and contributed to the "History of Keele" with his paper: Landscapes and Gardens at Keele, published by Keele University (1986).  He will be much missed by his friends, colleagues and associates in the garden conservation world. >Obituary


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.
>Tributes to Colonel Richard Gilbertson

>The Origins of Our Garden Roses by Colonel Richard Gilbertson

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.

>Site-month-Berrington Hall

January/February 2015 >read it here
November 2014 - >read it here
October 2014
- >read it here

'The Great Stare' –Milton Abbey, Dorset, wins Heritage Lotery and Viridor funding
>More details.

CB300 Interactive Map Launch
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

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

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.

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 - Newsletters
April 2015 Newsletter -
November 2014 -
read it here
May 2014 -

Regional Education Meeting of the South West County Gardens Trusts - February 2015, Stourhead - Report of 2015 Meeting of The S W Trusts


AGT congratulates Writtle College
>More details

The Chartered Institute of Horticulture
Jessica Evans is the Chartered Institute of Horticulture Young Horticulturist of the Year 2015. >More details

HLF 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.

Parks Campaigning Update Update from the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces please sign the petition now.
>Further details of all the above - much more and contacts

Rivington Terraced Gardens, Lancashire, elected one of Countryfiles Top Ten Lost Gardens -was shown on Sunday 30 November 2014and included highlights of Lancashire as a whole.

Hamilton Gardens wins International Garden of the Year Award 2014 >More details

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

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.

University of Reading

MERL Seminars: Discovering the Landscape
>More details


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

Compton Verney Art Gallery secures Heritage Lottery Fund support>More details2015 Exhibitions at Compton Verney
>More 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

Dorset Gardens Trust Bursary Scheme

Welsh Historic Small Grants Scheme
>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



Saturday 8 August 2015


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. >More details

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


10 to 16 September
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
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




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 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
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





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



Author Karen Platt is pleased to announce the release of her latest garden book Karen Platt’s Common-Botanical Plant Names. 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


The Parks and Gardens of Cornwall, by Douglas Ellory Pett
with a forward from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. This book has 440 sites recorded with descriptions based mainly on published material and exhaustively referenced. Search on-line for further 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."
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