Women and Gardens


Held in association with The Gardens Trust

This weekend will seek to document, explore and debate the pioneering contributions made by women to the development of gardens and landscape design from the medieval period to the present. New and exciting research will be presented to illuminate the roles of women as designers, patrons, writers, botanists, craftswomen and artists and to explore the rich and varied possibilities from combining gender history and garden history.  There will be an afternoon coach trip to Wrest Park. 

The cost of the coach is included in the tuition fee for the course.  There will be much standing and walking over uneven ground. Please come with suitable footwear and be prepared for all weathers.

Programme details

Friday 3 June 2022

6.00pm: Registration (for those who have booked for dinner)

6.30pm: Dinner

7.45pm: Registration (for those who have not booked for dinner)

8.00pm: Beth Chatto: a life in plants. CATHERINE HORWOOD

9.15pm: End of day

Saturday 4 June 2022

8.00am: Breakfast (residents only)

9.00am: The Changing seasons at Munstead Wood. ANNABEL WATTS

10.00am: Literary Coteries and their impact on landscape design, 1740-1760. JEMIMA HUBBERSTEY and ANDREW HANN

11.00am: Coffee/tea

11.30am: The Conservation and representation of 250 years of garden history at Wrest Park. JOHN WATKINS

12.30pm: Break

12.45pm: Depart for Wrest Park

Packed lunches to be eaten on the coach – these are provided for those who have booked and paid for them in advance.  Please bring your own packed lunch if you wish, and outdoor footwear suitable for walking and clothing for all weathers.

6.00pm: Arrive back at Rewley House (approx.)

6.30pm: Dinner

8.00pm: ‘The Lady of the garden, lawn and blackbird:’ Beatrix Whistler and horticulture. CLARE WILLSDON

9.15pm: End of day

Sunday 5 June 2022

8.00am: Breakfast (residents only)

9.00am: Miss Alice de Rothschild and the gardens at Waddesdon. PIPPA SHIRLEY  

10.00am: The Messels at Nymans. ALICE STRICKLAND

11.00am: Coffee/tea

11.30am:  'An almost impossible thing’ – pioneering professional women gardeners. FIONA DAVISON

12.30pm: Break / bar open

12.45pm: Lunch and course disperses


Description Costs
Tuition (includes coffee/tea & coach trip) £176.20
Baguette Sunday £5.50
Dinner Friday Evening £22.55
Dinner Saturday Evening £22.55
Hot Lunch Sunday £15.70
Packed Lunch Saturday £8.00
Single B&B Friday & Saturday Nights £178.00
Twin/Double B&B Friday & Saturday Nights (for 2 people) £246.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Ms Fiona Davison


Head of Libraries and Exhibitions, Royal Horticultural Society

Dr Andrew Grahame Hann


Historians Team Leader, English Heritage

Dr Catherine Horwood


Independent Scholar

Miss Jemima Hubberstey


DPhil Student, University of Oxford

Ms Pippa Shirley


Head of Collections and Gardens, Waddesdon Manor (Rothschild Foundation), National Trust

Dr Alice Strickland


Curator, National Trust

Mr John Watkins


Head of Gardens and Landscape, English Heritage Trust

Mrs Annabel Watts


Head Gardener,  Munstead Wood

Professor Clare A P Willsdon


Professor of the History of Western Art, University of Glasgow


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.


Accommodation for this weekend is at Rewley House for Friday and Saturday nights only.

Depending on availability it may also be possible to extend your stay, please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices.

All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.