Author: John Sales
About this book:
By the time John Sales was appointed in 1971, the National Trust had already acquired an eclectic range of gardens and designed landscape parks, more than any independent organisation ever. The Trust was in the process of taking them in hand and beginning to acquire many more, sometimes with great houses and estates but also in their own right as significant documents of history, important plant collections, unsung works of art and reservoirs of disappearing expertise. Before then there was little national interest or understanding of the extraordinary richness and diversity of Britain’s historic designed landscape. Neither was it realised that the Trust’s assembly of gardens and landscape parks, including those of Lancelot (“Capability”) Brown, is the greatest in the world. With fifty of these places John Sales records first-hand experience of the garden’s modern history at a crucial time of transition from private to corporate ownership, sometimes smooth, sometimes difficult but always fascinating.
This book incorporates lessons learned over a quarter of a century of managing, renewing and caring for the gardens of the National Trust; negotiating change with a variety of colourful characters, including former owners, now tenants. It traces the very British way the Trust learned about conserving historic gardens towards an overdue national commitment to leading this unique contribution to European culture.
About this Author:
After horticultural college in Kent, John Sales passed his National Diploma in Horticulture while a student gardener at Kew. In 1971 he was appointed gardens adviser to the National Trust and two years late became Head of Gardens. John served as Head of Gardens until 1998. He was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour, the highest honour given by the Royal Horticultural Society, in 1991, and has since been a Vice-President of the Society, and of the Garden History Society (now the Gardens Trust).
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