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Lives and Legacies: The Garden Museum Archive Talks

The Garden Museum's Archive Talks celebrate three of the contributors to the Archive of Garden Design on 7th, 14th and 21st November.

The Garden Museum is home to the country’s first Archive of Garden Design, including works by Beth Chatto, John Brookes, Russell Page, Geoffrey Jellicoe.

To celebrate the opening of the Archive, the Museum is hosting three evenings, each focusing on one of the influential contributors. They, or those who have worked closely with them, will tell the stories of their careers in gardens, offering a fascinating insight into their professional lives. The talks will draw on designs, photographs and diaries from the Archive.

Find out more about the lectures below:

7th November – Lives and Legacies: Andrew Lawson

On Tuesday 7th November Andrew Lawson spoke to Tania Compton about the gardens he has photographed in a career that began in 1985. In that pre-digital age, colour photographs were created as transparencies.  Andrew projected a selection of the transparencies from the complete collection that he is donating to the Museum archive.  There were whacky gardens as well as classic ones; early work of the famous contemporary designers, as well as portraits of luminaries of the garden world.

14th November – Lives and Legacies: Beth Chatto

Catherine Horwood, official biographer of Chatto’s career, discussed Beth Chatto’s work and career in this conversation, chaired by Tim Richardson.

21st November – Lives and Legacies: Hugh Johnson

Hugh Johnson, author of The World Atlas of Wine, The International Book of Trees and Trad’s Diary, will be in conversation with Christopher Woodward, Director of the Garden Museum.  Johnson has given some of his correspondences, drafts and unpublished writings to the Archive.

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The Garden Café

The Garden Cafe will be open before each lecture from 6pm so you can enjoy a glass of wine in the Sackler Garden. After the talks, the Garden Cafe will be open for dinner. Book a table in advance to avoid disappointment.

Speaker Biographies:

7th November

  • Andrew Lawson

    Andrew Lawson

    Andrew Lawson has been fascinated by gardens all his life. He started gardening at school, aged 10, and has looked after gardens ever since, sometimes two at a time.

    He trained as a painter and only discovered photography quite late in the day. When he fell into garden photography in 1985, he had no idea that it could be a profession. For him, being a garden photographer brings together his joint passions for natural history and for making pictures.

    He has been fortunate to work with the greatest garden designers of our times, and to illustrate books by the most distinguished writers, including Penelope Hobhouse, Rosemary Verey, Anna Pavord and HRH The Prince of Wales. His work has been honoured with the Royal Horticultural Society’s Gold Medal for photography and twice with the Garden Media Guild’s ‘Photographer of the Year’.

    In 1999 he organised the first get-together of professional garden photographers. The group later became the Garden Photographers Association (GPA). In 2000 he arranged an exhibition for professionals which grew in stages into the current International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY).

  • Tania Compton

    Tania Compton

    Tania developed her love of gardening after success with a packet of ipomoea seeds in Ibiza. Stints gardening at Tintinhull for Penelope Hobhouse and Barnsley House in the late 80′s preceded a design course at the Chelsea Physic Garden where she met her husband the botanist, Dr. Jamie Compton.Tania spent 12 years as Gardens Editor for British House & Garden before resuming work as a designer.

14th November

  • Catherine Horwood

    Catherine Horwood

    Catherine Horwood is a social historian and author of Gardening Women (2010). Her book, Rose (Botanical), will be published next year by Reaktion. For the past six years, she has been helping Beth Chatto assemble her archive for its handover to the Garden Museum. She is also her authorised biographer.

  • Tim Richardson

    Tim Richardson

    Tim Richardson is a landscape critic and garden historian who writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph, Gardens Illustrated and other publications. He is the author of a number of books on garden topics including The New English Garden and Arcadian Friends: The Invention of the English Landscape Garden. He serves on the National Trust's gardens advisory panel and is founder-director of the international Chelsea Fringe Festival. Tim is also a published poet and writes a column about contemporary art for The Idler magazine.

21st November

  • Hugh Johnson

    Hugh Johnson

    High Johnson writes about his two passions - wine and horticulture. He writes and edits Trad's Diary, which offers readers an insight into his life and gardening. He has written a series of best selling books about wine, which have . He began acquiring his wine knowledge as a member of the Wine and Food Society at Cambridge University. When he came down from King's College in 1961 he became feature writer for Vogue and House & Garden, writing, among other things, wine columns for both magazines. He became wine correspondent of The Sunday Times and started work on his first book Wine (1966), through which he established himself at the age of 27 as one of the subject's foremost writers.

    After a year as travel editor of The Sunday Times he became editor of Queen, and in 1969 James Mitchell of the newly founded publishing house Mitchell Beazley asked him to write The World Atlas of Wine. First published in 1971, this book has been translated into 14 languages and sold over four million copies. Hugh's vast knowledge of wine is condensed into his Pocket Wine Book, an annually updated guide to everything worth drinking, which, year by year, is the world's best-selling wine book.

    Hugh lives at Saling Hall in Essex, where he has restored and created a beautiful 12 acre woodland garden.

    In 2007 Hugh Johnson received an OBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list for services to winemaking and horticulture.

  • Christopher Woodward

    Christopher Woodward

    Director of the Garden Museum, Christopher Woodward is _____________________