Parks & Gardens UK Expert Review Panel
We host a database of over 8,000 records about historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes across the UK. Additionally we have more than 2,000 records about the people and organisations associated with the landscapes, more than 5,000 images to accompany the records and details about archives and references where more information can be found. All of the information we host has been kindly given to us by professionals and non-professionals with an interest in historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes. As part of our work to ensure as accurate and comprehensive a presentation of research as possible, we have a panel of garden history experts who review research submissions. The members of the panel are as follows:
Dr Audrey Gerber Audrey is an ornamental horticulturist, specialising in conservation of historic gardens and cultural landscapes. Audrey has a particular interest in garden detective work - the underlying heritage research that contributes to an understanding of the layers of significance of a site which informs its management and conservation philosophy and activities. Audrey has experience through volunteer work for the National Trust researching historic gardens and developing Conservation Management Plans. Her recent work has been investigating the effects of climate change adaptation strategies on the design intention of historic gardens which highlights the need for a strategic approach to managing our designed landscapes into the future.
Dr Kate Felus Kate started her career working for the National Trust at Stowe Gardens. After two years as part of Debois Landscape Survey Group she established her own consultancy in 2003. Since then she has written conservation management plans, a variety of other reports and guide books for a wide range of landscapes from Tudor water gardens to Edwardian seaside parks. In 2009 she gained a PhD from the University of Bristol on the social use of Georgian parks and gardens. She has lectured widely in the UK and in Italy, and published articles and chapters on dining and boating in 18th century landscapes and on the conservation of parks and gardens.
Stephen Harmer A horticultural lecturer at Hadlow College, specialising in teaching garden history. He also teaches garden history for the RHS at Wisley. Stephen has an MA in garden history and writes monthly on garden history topics for Garden Design Journal. He also works for BBC local radio at the Chelsea and Hampton Court flower shows and leads tours to historic gardens in France, Italy, and Spain.
Dr Sarah Hundleby Since leaving as a full time university lecturer in English as Foreign Language, Sarah developed her interest in garden history by taking adult education courses, culminating in the MA in Garden History at Birkbeck College, University of London. Not wanting to give up on academia, she decided to further her interest by studying for a PhD at Writtle College, University of Essex. Her PhD focuses on gardens of the Restoration and investigating the extent and nature of continental influences on garden design in this period. She is interested in all aspects of garden history, but her research looks at seventeenth century gardens in Britain, France and the Netherlands, the development of the orangery and the greenhouse, and the importance of flowers in early restoration.
Sally Ingram Sally has always enjoyed gardens, whether it's making her own, visiting parks and green spaces, or just reading about people who make a garden. Her favourites are the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, Great Dixter, and Derek Jarman's garden on the beach at Dungeness. A few years ago she completed a Master's Degree in Garden History at Birkbeck College, with her particular focus on twentieth century memorial gardens. She is currently researching the way in which the post war landscape was presented in photographs.
Diane James Although Diane’s early fascination with historic landscapes was overtaken by careers in teaching and administration, it was later revitalised by an MA in Garden History at Bristol University. Diane is now in her final PhD year at the University of Warwick researching Indian influence on British gardens and garden buildings, in 2013 travelling to India to study historic caves, monuments and gardens. Another passion is the interrelationship between Picturesque gardens, romantic myths and gothic literature, with particular reference to the landscape of Guy’s Cliffe, Warwick. She is co-author of The Historic Gardens of England: Warwickshire (Redcliffe, 2011) with Professor Timothy Mowl, and has published articles on various Warwickshire and West Midland landscapes.
Sally Miller After a career in training and development here and overseas, and finally as Head of Training for the Heritage Lottery Fund, in retirement Sally has had time to develop her interest in garden history. She has an MA in garden history from Birkbeck College, has written two books on London parks and has had papers published in Garden History and London Gardener. For several years she was a Coordinator of the Research Group of the London Parks and Gardens Trust. Now living in Hampshire, she is Chair of the Research Group of Hampshire Gardens Trust and a member of the Trust’s Management Committee.
Sophie Seifalian A garden historian and researcher, Sophie has a special interest and expertise in twentieth century gardens and landscapes as well as contemporary garden design. Following a career in business, Sophie decided to pursue her lifelong interest in art, design and landscape. A period of over ten years was spent teaching both garden design and garden history at Capel Manor College and Birkbeck College. In 2010 her dissertation for an MA in Garden History from Birkbeck College examined the suburban garden of the interwar years. More recently she has acted as research coordinator for the London Parks and Gardens Trust. Her current research projects include the history of London's parks during the First World War and the effect of the war on London's green spaces. Sophie is committed and passionate about the research and conservation of historic landscapes, and highlighting the value of the historic environment to a wider audience.
Specialists for the Capability Brown 300 Festival
Dr Laura Mayer An independent lecturer and researcher. She holds an MA in Garden History and a PhD on eighteenth-century patronage from the University of Bristol. Her article on Capability Brown’s transformation of Alnwick Castle won the 2010 Garden History Society Essay Prize. She is the author of Capability Brown & the English Landscape Garden (Shire, 2011), Humphry Repton (Shire, 2014) and co-author of The Historic Gardens of England: Cambridgeshire & the Isle of Ely (Redcliffe, 2013)with Professor Timothy Mowl.
Steffie Shields A garden photographer, writer and lecturer/ Cambridge tutor specialising in historic landscapes and plant portraiture. She lectures country-wide. A Licentiate member of the Royal Photographic Society, member of the Garden Media Guild, Professional Garden Photographers Association, and Garden History Society, and a regular contributor of illustrated garden articles to Lincolnshire Life, her work has been widely published. She is Chairman of the national charity The Association of Gardens Trusts (AGT), Vice-Chairman of Lincolnshire Gardens Trust, a member of the ‘Capability’ Brown Tercentenary Festival Celebrations 2016 Advisory Group and a member of the Alumni Board of Liverpool Hope University.