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Landscape Learn at the Garden Museum: Taking Care

In October, three Wednesday evening events will focus on Autumn Colour, Liquid Assets and Taking Care with expert and diverse speakers across the arts, engineering, and natural resource management. This session invites invites custodians of some of our most complex, fascinating and loved London landscapes to talk about community participation and the underlying inspiration behind these important spaces.


Marie Murray and Brian Cumming – Dalston Eastern Curve Garden

Ruth Holmes – Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

John Watkins – Head of Gardens and Landscape, English Heritage

Johanna Gibbons and Neil Davidson – Landscape Architects, J & L Gibbons and Landscape Learn

Other talks in the series:

Autumn colour – 11th October

This session explored colour relationships and the movement of colour, seen and unseen in the context of nature.

Liquid Assets 18th October

This event will celebrate urban water, discussing resource management, the cultural and engineering assets of the past and what could be the future of water in London.

Landscape Learn

Landscape Learn is a social enterprise established by J & L Gibbons Landscape Architects. It is growing into a real-time and online platform to support learning and engagement with the landscape around us. Open to students, professionals and communities, and seasonally themed, we curate across the disciplines, networking landscape experts. We provide a dynamic view of the beauty and complexities of the environment around us. We hope to provoke a deeper relationship with the landscape we inhabit, through an immersive approach to learning in the field, online and in various host spaces. This time we are delighted that Landscape Learn will be hosted by the Garden Museum in the new Clore Learning Space overlooking the courtyard garden designed by Dan Pearson.

Speakers Biographies

  • Marie Murray/ Brian Cumming

    Marie Murray/ Brian Cumming

    Marie Murray and Brian Cumming are passionate about Dalston where they have lived for over 25 years, actively campaigning for residents’ involvement in shaping their own neighbourhood. They were part of a team of local individuals and organisations who worked closely with J & L Gibbons and muf architecture/art to establish the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden in 2010. They went on to set up the social enterprise Grow Cook Eat in 2012 to ensure that the Garden continued to thrive. The Curve Garden is open 7 days a week, 12 months a year, offering a much-needed green breathing space for Dalston residents and a full programme of creative, cultural and volunteering activities. Marie & Brian work with a team of staff and volunteers to ensure that the Curve Garden continues to flourish and play a vital role for the community in Dalston.
  • Ruth Holmes

    Ruth Holmes

    Ruth Holmes BEng Hons MA MAUD MSc CMLI has 18 years’ experience as a Chartered Landscape Architect working for the public, private and voluntary sectors. She currently works for London Legacy Development Corporation, which has responsibility of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and developing neighbourhoods. For over 11 years she worked for The Royal Parks caring for over 5,000 acres of historic parkland in London. She is a Trustee of the London Parks and Gardens Trust, on the Royal Parks Guild Committee and the World Urban Parks Healthy Parks Healthy Cities Committee. To support the Landscape profession she volunteers as a Landscape Institute examiner, supervisor, judge and mentor. Also with a keen interest in heritage, ecology, parks and horticulture she judges each year for Green Flag, Green Heritage and London in Bloom.
  • John Watkins

    John Watkins

    John Watkins has worked for English Heritage for almost 20 years advising on the curation, care and representation of its garden and landscape sites. During this time he has been responsible for guiding a number of significant projects including the Contemporary Heritage Garden (where notable landscape architects an garden designers competed to deliver design solutions to 6 garden sites from Richmond in Yorkshire to Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, to major garden restoration projects at Down House, Kenilworth Castle and Wrest Park. John is currently working on projects at Walmer Castle, Marble Hill, Mount Grace Priory and Belsay Hall, which will come to fruition in the next couple of years. John has championed the professionalism of horticulture at English Heritage and is proud of the teams of highly skilled gardeners who now look after EH gardens. John initiated the Historic and Botanic Gardens Training Program that with HLF support has introduced over 200 new gardeners into the sector over the last 10 years.
  • Johanna Gibbons

    Johanna Gibbons

    Johanna Gibbons is a Landscape Architect founding Partner of J & L Gibbons established in 1986. Jo studied Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art. She is a Fellow of the Landscape Institute and serves on several design advisory panels including Historic England, The Forestry Commission and HS2. Her design practice with Neil Davidson is award winning, and together they have founded Landscape Learn in 2016, a new prototype for learning and engaging with the landscape. Jo’s expertise concerns heritage, green infrastructure and urban regeneration and she leads on collaborative cross-disciplinary practice at a strategic and local level. She is external examiner at University of Edinburgh and her recently exhibited work includes ‘Urbanistas’ celebrating innovative women in urban design.
  • Neil Davidson

    Neil Davidson

    Neil is a landscape architect and Partner of J & L Gibbons and founding Director of Landscape Learn. He trained at Edinburgh College of Art. Neil is particularly interested in a collaborative design approach that reveals synergies between the natural, built and cultural environments. His research explores the use of historic narratives in a contemporary context, to inform designs for healthy and liveable environments. Neil maintains strong links with education. He taught at the Architectural Association and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Cambridge, CASS and Edinburgh College of Art. Neil is a Built Environment Expert for CABE at the Design Council, a member of the Lewisham Design Review Panel and a trustee of the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve Trust.
Image: J&L Gibbons