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European Gardens: A Thread Connecting Royalty, Rome And Rousseau

9 June 2022 - 30 June 2022

Thursdays - 10:45 - 12:45

£63 – £260

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Morning coffee and afternoon teas are inclusive. Lunch, at your own expense, is available at The Club but requires booking. Contact the Club Receptionist once your lecture booking is confirmed. There are cafes nearby if you prefer.


Following a successful introductory course to garden history in 2020, Stephen Smith returns with this series of lectures covering the history of European gardens. The course will cover the evolution of garden design as well as the progress of botany and horticultural science in countries across the Continent from the Renaissance to the Twentieth century. The relationship between gardens and architecture, painting and literature will be a running theme throughout the course.

“I especially enjoyed the depth and detail explored by Stephen”

Course Outline

The Gardens Of Italy  –  9 June 2022

The ‘cradle of the Renaissance’, Italy led the way in the creation of gardens, symbolising the wealth and power of the Medici dynasty. The villas that prospered around the city states of Florence and Venice vied for pre-eminence with those around Rome, the seat of the Papacy. The influence of Italian gardens on those of the rest of Europe in the following centuries will be explored in this lecture which will include the Twentieth century study of some of Italy’s most famous gardens by John Shepard and Geoffrey Jellicoe.

The Gardens Of France  –  16 June 2022

The French Queens, Catherine and Marie de Medici are an important thread running through French Renaissance garden design and their role will be explored as we work our way towards the Baroque gardens of André Le Nôtre. The fate of these great gardens, which were lost at the French Revolution, will be examined as we follow their restoration by Achille Duchêne in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Dutch Gardens  –  23 June 2022

The independence of the Netherlands from Spain led to important developments in Dutch garden design, reflecting the success of the new state. The Dutch Statholder’s gardens at Honserlaarsdijk and Het Loo became important symbols of power, but the equally powerful symbolism in the display of exotic plants made important links to colonisation and expanding international trade. This lecture will follow this new nation’s position as Europe’s leader in horticultural science and trade, which began in the sixteenth century and remains unchallenged today.

German Gardens  –  30  June 2022


The declaration of Berlin as the capital of Prussia in 1701 heralded a huge building programme across the city and the nearby town of Potsdam as the court set up home in the capital. This world heritage landscape will be a major focus for the lecture. The gardens of the Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth and the later eighteenth century ‘Garden Realm’ of Wörlitz which shows the influence of Rousseau will also form part of the lecture. A final theme will be the importance of landscape in Germany’s re-unification in the 1990s.

The Gardens Of Great Britain And Ireland –  30 June 2022


The final session will reflect on the influences of European gardens on the development of landscapes and gardening in the UK and Ireland. The best examples of particular genres, as well as some idiosyncratic gardens, will be explored in our examination of a number of specific gardens from across the four nations.


9 June 2022
30 June 2022
£63 – £260
Courses Category:


Stephen Smith
Our Lecturers


The University Women’s Club
2 Audley Square
London, London W1K 1DB United Kingdom
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The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Full Course: European Gardens: A Thread Connecting Royalty, Rome And Rousseau 9-30 June 2022
£ 260.00
The Gardens Of Italy  –  9 June 2022
£ 63.00
The Gardens Of France  –  16 June 2022
£ 63.00
Dutch Gardens  –  23 June 2022
£ 63.00
German Gardens –  30 June 2022
£ 63.00
The Gardens Of Great Britain And Ireland - 30 June 2022
£ 63.00

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