Beth Chatto in Corsica, 1950s

Beth Chatto in Corsica, 1950s

Beth Chatto in Corsica, 1950s

Janet Jack depositing her drawings for the Alexandra Road Estate in Camden to the Archive

Janet Jack depositing her drawings for the Alexandra Road Estate in Camden to the Archive

Janet Jack depositing her drawings for the Alexandra Road Estate in Camden to the Archive

Shute House by Jellicoe

Shute House by Jellicoe

Shute House by Jellicoe

The New Archive of Garden Design

One of the most important responsibilities the Garden Museum has undertaken is to collect and store safely records of innovative ideas, now, and in the future.  This will be made possible through modern technology.  What a thrill it would have been to hear to voices of our gardening idols of the past.

Beth Chatto, 2013 

We are setting up the country’s first archive of garden design, with a purpose-built repository for the records of the great makers of gardens, together with the writers and photographers who have interpreted their work.  The founding deposits will be the records of John Brookes, Beth Chatto, and Penelope Hobhouse, together with the photographic archive of Andrew Lawson.

The need for a garden archive is urgent as living, planted masterpieces are by their nature ephemeral.  In decades to come photographs, correspondence, plant lists and sketches will be the only trace of the gardens which entrance us today, and of the friendships and ideas which inspired their creation. 

The Archive of Garden Design is an attempt to answer questions such as:

  • How do we project to posterity the spirit of gardens which have influenced us?
  • How is the memory of a garden different to that of a building, or a sculpture?
  • How do we pick the right gardens and designers to record?
  • How do you record the design process to reflect its new professionalism?
  • What are the possibilities for digital access?

Read the Telegraph's Amba Edwards's thoughts on our new archive here

Help us to create the first Archive of Garden Design by donating today or contacting Elena Greer, elena@gardenmuseum.org.uk

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