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A Short Course: Three aspects of Victorian Gardening: Pteridomania, Pineta and Parks

April 4, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


A Short Course of six sessions to be led by Kate Harwood

Three aspects of Victorian Gardening: Pteridomania, the Fern Craze, swept Victorian England. It stimulated plant collecting, technological advances and added new features to homes and gardens. Pineta, and their close cousins, arboreta were the product of the mania for exotic trees. Driven by nurseries such as Veitches of Exeter and fed by plant hunters such as David Douglas and William Lobb, the giants of the American West and elsewhere have made a distinct mark on our landscapes. Public Parks were part of the answer to overcrowded slums giving the people access to fresh air and green space, with sports facilities being added as an afterthought. The Head Gardeners and their teams grew thousands of bedding plants and laid out splendid displays but also experimented with exotic plants such as bananas, and introduced water features, bandstands, statuary and refreshment kiosks.

Our three talks sessions will be complemented by three relevant garden visits: Danesbury Fernery, Bayfordbury Pinetum and Battersea Park.

Talks will take place at Woolmer Green Village Hall 10.00-12.00.

Visits to Danesbury and Bayfordbury will be made by car, car sharing-arrangements will be discussed in class. Battersea park is best reached by public transport (details will be provided)
The cost of the course will be £36 per person.
Reservation and payment for places on the three walks should be made to Kate Harwood, using this form.

April 4

Pteridomania: Kate Harwood Danesbury fernery: John Roper

April 18

The great Victorian parks: Kate Harwood

May 2

The mania for exotic trees: Kate Harwood Bayfordbury Pinetum: Edward Eastwood

April 11

Guided tour Danesbury Fernery to examine the Pulhamite and the restoration of the site, including new fern planting

April 25

Guided Tour of Battersea Park to include Pulhamite, Gibson’s exotic planting, The Festival of Britain Gardens, the Dan Pearson Winter Garden

May 9
Guided Tour of Bayfordbury Pinetum to look at the 150 species of conifers assembled by Baker and Clinton families, many during the 19th century, although the collection was begun in 1767.


April 4, 2018
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:


The Village Hall, Woolmer Green
The Village Hall, Hall Lane, Woolmer Green SG3 6XA United Kingdom + Google Map