John Harvey was a leading historian of medieval architecture, publishing many books and articles. From the late-1960s he became increasingly interested in garden history, and was a president of the Garden History Society.
Harvey was an authority on the history of plants up to the 18th century, publishing Early Gardening Catalogues (1972) and Early Nurserymen (1974). His book, Medieval Gardens (1981), remains a core text on the subject.
Harvey died in November 1997.