The Figure in the Estate

You may recall mention of a brief appearance at the Maison Française in Oxford, as a panel member for a discussion on the role of gardeners and stewards in designed landscapes. Quite a wide discussion was enjoyed by all I trust, with much audience participation in a subject that clearly has much more scope for future exploration.

A very knowledgeable collection of speakers gave illustrated talks, as follows:

The Serviceable Ghost; the Forgotten Role of the Gardener in England from 1630 to 1730. Speaker: Sally O’Halloran, Sheffield University

William Speechly and the Scope of Estate Gardening at Welbeck, Nottinghamshire in the later 18th century. Speaker: Susanne Seymour, Nottingham University

Surveying the Prospect: Landowners and Poets in the Eighteenth-Century Country House Poem. Speaker: Clare Bucknell, All Souls College, Oxford

Following these excellent presentations, Glyn Jones (Hidcote Manor), Nick Lightfoot (The Vyne), Barry Smith (Stowe) and myself took questions about the present role of gardeners and stewards.

For interested folk, the link below connects to the MFO web page where podcasts for each presentation can be found, along with one for the gardeners question session – I would add that due to microphone issues, the gardeners session only lasts approximately 30 minutes – but a grand 30 minutes it is!

The Figure in the Estate: The Rôle of Gardeners and Stewards in the Designing of Landscapes