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Historical Profiles

This section contains articles about people who were involved with the creation, maintenance, conservation and recording of the historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes in the United Kingdom.

People at the cutting edge: lawnmower designers

Detail of advertisement for Ransome's lawnmowers. Image courtesy of the Garden Museum.The lawnmower has come a long way from the cumbersome machine that replaced the scythe, to the autonomous, computer-operated devices of today.

Marilyn Elm celebrates the individual ingenuity behind this most essential piece of gardening equipment.

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John Claudius Loudon - father of the English garden

The Victorian writer and designer John Claudius Loudon has been described as the ‘father of the English garden’1. Louise Wickham looks at his work and contribution to the British garden.

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James Pulham & Son

From elaborate grottoes to classical garden statuary, the Pulhams were famed for the features they created in their own brand of artificial stone. Their glittering client list included kings, but in 1945 the family firm closed down. Kate Banister explores the work and changing fortunes of four generations of James Pulhams.

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Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild - botanist and gardener

pgds_20080516-163426_waddesdon-manor-ntpl_62914Picnic at Waddesdon Manor, 1880sBaron Ferdinand de Rothschild was, in the words of the Princess Royal to her mother, Queen Victoria, ‘an excellent gardener and a good botanist'. Sophie Piebanga looks at his work and the legacy that lives on today in the garden he created at Waddesdon in Buckinghamshire. 

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Stephen Switzer - pioneer of the English landscape garden

The work of Stephen Switzer was seminal to the development of the English landscape garden in the early 18th century. Timur Tatlioglu looks at the pioneering design and writings of an influential public figure.

Read more: Stephen Switzer - pioneer of the English landscape garden