The study of garden history has grown rapidly over the last twenty years. This collection of essays explores the issues, methods, and approaches that students in landscape architecture have developed during that period to cope with the expanding subject of gardens and their history. The volume will serve as a bench mark in the field, with its range of approaches and wealth of illustrative material.
Each contributor focuses upon a specific piece of his or her research, and uses this as a basis to discuss the wider implications of the study of gardens within such contexts as botanical, horticultural, agrarian, literary, technological, social, culture, political, and art history. The historical and geographical range is also deliberately large: from ancient Greek and Roman gardens, through Islamic and Mughal examples, to nineteenth-century English estates; from India to Surry County, Virginia, from Versailles to Philadelphia.
Certain themes come to dominate the volume: the values of archeology to garden history and conservation; the different or even rival uses of literature, painting, archival, and other documentation; geographical understanding of territory; above all, the rich resources of gardens for historical study and the importance of landscape architectural history in its own right as a major contributor to humanistic knowledge.