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Devon Gardens Trust is devoted to the preservation and enhancement of gardens in the UK county of Devon

Books and Booklets

F. W. MEYER (1852-1906)  A landscape gardener in Devon
Carolyn Keep
Published by Devon Gardens Trust, Exeter (2015); 133pp

A book on the Victorian horticulturalist and rockery designer, Frederick William Meyer, written by past DGT Chairman and current Vice-President Carolyn Keep has been published.  The FW Meyer book coverdiscovery of a collection of lantern slides belonging to Meyer inspired her to research his life and work.  "F.W. Meyer (1852-1906): A landscape gardener in Devon" is a fascinating insight into the life of a genial and contented family man, who worked mainly in the southwest of England, and who maintained strong links with his native Germany and travelled widely in Europe, especially in pursuit of his favourite alpine plants.

The book, priced at £6.99 (p&p extra), is available from the Devon Gardens Trust (download an order form here).

ISBN 978-0-9930172-1-6  |  133pp  |  Paperback  |  Published December 2015




Todd Gray
Published by The Mint Press, Exeter (2013); 336pp

Devon's foremost historian Dr Todd Gray MBE produced this lavishly illustrated book to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the DGT's formation.  He wrote, "This book was first sketched out in 1995 following the publication of The Garden History of Devon (see below) by the University of Exeter Press.  A decade passed and the 25th anniversary of the Devon Gardens Trust resurrected the idea of this book.  During these intervening years I tinkered with the project and it has been invariably improved by new discoveries and opportunities.  It is a different book from the one I planned nearly two decades ago: research and publication have been transformed by the introduction of the computer, digital photography and electronic resources on the internet."

Art of the Devon Garden cover

{from the book cover}  

"As the art of gardening developed, so too did the depiction in art of those plants and gardens.  This study comprises 677 historical images, some created in glass, pottery, fabric, wood and stone as well as on paper and canvas - illuminated manuscripts, medieval vestments, Jacobean carved wood, Georgian porcelain and Victorian stained glass are just some of the surprising forms which are examined.  Many images have never been reproduced nor are known except to specialists."

Some of today's most popular gardens are featured as well as others which have long vanished.  Elizabethan herb gardens, seventeenth century formal parterres, Georgian Picturesque landscapes and Victorian herbaceous borders are all expressed through art.  The result is a visual history of Devon's gardens."

Available from booksellers and direct from The Mint Press - click here.



In 2008, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Devon Gardens Trust, A Short History (1988-2008) was published, documenting the formation and development of the Trust and its activities in the first twenty years.  Download a copy of the booklet here.


Edited by Steven Pugsley
Published by Alan Sutton Publishing (1994) in association with the Devon Gardens Trust; 186pp

Steven Pugsley - Devon Gardens

{From the book jacket}

Devon, the third largest county in England, has a remarkably rich and varied gardening heritage.  From mediaeval times to the present day, its gardens have been among the most famous in the country: Bicton, Castle Drogo, Coleton Fishacre, Dartington, Killerton, Knightshayes and Saltram among them have claims on many a gardener's 'most favoured' lists.

In this new and pioneering study, ten specialists offer a unique perspective on Devon's garden history and landscape design, from deer parks and walled castle gardens and the era of formal landscape to the age of Arts and Crafts; and from gardens which have vanished completely to those maintained for the use and enjoyment of the public.  Audrey le Lievre writes on nurseries and nurserymen, and Richard Stone on the work of Humphrey Repton at Endsleigh.  Domestic gardens in early modern Devon are described by Todd Gray, and Peter Hunt deals with JohnSwete and the Picturesque.  The book ends with a full gazetteer of the county's major parks and gardens.

Copiously illustrated in colour and black and white, combining superb modern photography with evocative illustrations of gardens in the past, Devon Gardens will appeal both to the specialist and to those with a general historical or gardening interest.



THE GARDEN HISTORY OF DEVON: An illustrated guide to sources
Todd Gray
Published by University of Exeter Press (1995) in association with the Devon Gardens Trust; 256pp

Garden History of Devon Todd Gray

{From the book cover}

The Garden History of Devon is a reference guide to historical sources for over 200 Devon gardens.  It also provides an introduction for would-be garden historians on how to conduct garden research.

The book is the result of an exploration of the archival resources of Devon's garden history; the objective being to provide signposts to research material for those interested in the development of Devon's gardens.

The entries, arranged alphabetically, begin with a brief section describing each garden's history, amplified by quotations from contemporary travellers and diarists; following the descriptive sections are listings of documents, printed sources and illustrations relating to each garden.  The greater part of this material is unknown to garden historians.



THE LIE OF THE LAND: Aspects of the archaeology and history of the designed landscape in the South West of England.
Robert Wilson-North (ed.)
Published by Mint Press (2003) in association with the Devon Gardens Trust.

The Lie of the Land coverCountry houses, parkland and restored gardens - these are the classic images that make us think of ornamental landscapes. This book looks at the subject in a challenging and different way. It uses archaeological techniques to explore many aspects of the designed landscape. In doing so it reveals how rich the West Country is in these places and how much more there is to discover. As usual, archaeology brings us to places that never made it into history books as well as some forgotten aspectof those that did.

In The Lie of the Land a series of experts in their field present recent archaeological discoveries and challenging ideas. The book is well illustrated with over 50 photographs and line drawings.

This book will appeal to all those with an interest in garden history, local history, landscape studies and archaeology.

Order from The Mint Press here.