Garden Classics
The Viridarium Library of Garden Classics brings together a series of inspirational books which span the Garden Design, Landscape Architecture and Horticulture genres.  It is also hoped to bring to the collection some books by pivotal authors which are perhaps not as widely known to most people.

When writing my first book, entitled Design and Renovation of Larger Gardens I attempted to combine the inspirational and the practical, in the way that Gertrude Jekyll and Lawrence Weaver did in Gardens for Small Country Houses in 1912.  I had received this book as a 21st birthday present and I had always referred to it periodically throughout my career.   The research for my book led me back in time from Gertrude Jekyll to authors and designers such as Thomas Mawson and Edward Kemp whose writings had inspired all those that followed behind them.  Many of the books were hard to track down, as most hadn’t been in print for decades and so I decided to try to bring some of these titles to a new audience.  Much of what has been written does not date and is as relevant today as it was when these books were originally written whether that is twenty or two hundred years ago. 

 Keep checking for new titles! 

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These books are available to purchase directly from Viridarium:


Edward Kemp: How to Lay Out a Garden

Intended as a General Guide in Choosing, Forming or Improving an Estate with Reference to Both Design and Execution (Paperback)


First published in 1850, and expanded in 1858 into the second edition now reprinted in facsimile, this comprehensive text "with reference to both design and execution" covers in fine detail the objectives, rules and implementation of garden design "from a quarter of an acre to one hundred acres in extent." The book became an important influence on the high-Victorian mixed style. It set out for the first time a complete guide to laying out a property and integrating the house into the landscape. Edward Kemp (1817-1891) trained under Joseph Paxton at Chatsworth, later assisted him in the design of Birkenhead Park, and went on to become superintendent of the park. He was one of the judges in the 1858 New York Central Park Competition, which selected the winning Olmstead and Vaux design.


Paperback: 436 pages 
Publisher: The Grimsay Press (30 Aug 2007) 
Language English 
ISBN-10: 1845300424 
ISBN-13: 978-1845300425 
Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15.4 x 2.8 cm

Price: £21.00 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK

Thomas Mawson: The Art and Craft of Garden Making



In 1901, Thomas Mawson(1861-1933) first published ‘The Art and Craft of Garden Making’ which is now regarded as the foundation of modern landscape architecture.  It was reprinted five times by 1926 and it is this books which reveals Mawson’s inspiration and gave a name to the style of work achieved by Edwin Lutyens & Gertrude Jeykll. Thomas Mawson was a prolific & influential designer who became the first president of the Institute of Landscape Architects (now Landscape Institute) in 1929. His design practice based in Windermere, Lake District prospered due to a wealthy clientele brought to the area by the railways network and also to his obvious talent for design which blended architecture and horticulture.  Thomas’s prolific & successful career included commissions on Graythwaite Hall, Langdale Chase, Holehird, Brockhole, Holker Hall and at Rydal Hall in 1909.  He also had considerable projects abroad including some in Canada, America and Europe.


Paperback: 240 pages 
Publisher: The Grimsay Press (Feb 2008)
Language English 
ISBN-10: 1845300483 
ISBN-13: 978-1845300487
Product Dimensions: 29.7 x 

Price: £28.50 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK 21 x 1.3 cm
Gardens for Small Country Houses, Gertrude Jekyll and Lawrence Weaver



Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) was an artist, craftswoman, writer, and gardener; she is perhaps  the most famous garden designers of her time.
‘Gardens for Small Country Houses’ was first published by Country Life in 1912, at a time when both Jekyll and Weaver were writing for the magazine.  It covers the period when the Arts and Crafts Movement had evolved into country house architecture then complemented with gardens in the current style.  
‘Gardens for Small Country Houses’ is a practical handbook which combines invaluable information on period garden design, insights into craftsmanship, planting relationships and garden restoration, and creates a fascinating and now classic text.
Gertrude Jekyll’s co-author, Sir Lawrence Weaver (1876-1930), was architectural editor of Country Life. He became a civil servant during the First World War (1914-1918); in 1919, he founded National Institute of Agricultural Botany, Cambridge.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: The Grimsay Press (March 2008) 
Language English 
ISBN-10: 1845300491
ISBN-13: 978-1845300494
Product Dimensions: 29.7 x 21 x 1.5 cm

Price: £28.50 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK

William Snow Rogers: Villa Gardens: How to Plan and How to Plant them



This concise guide is perfect for anyone with an Edwardian, or fashionable late Victorian house, who wants a contemporary yet period garden.  The subtitle is 'How to Plan and How to Plant Them', and contained within are nine plansfor gardens, each with a perspective - unprecendeted from any designer of this date.  The perspectives are so good that they have been enlarged and reprinted at the back of this new edition.  Born in 1864 into Victorian Britain, William Rogers created with this book a unique snapshot into a previous era.  It presents a picture of a middle class garden designer who says what he thinks, and it's very refreshing!  Although not very politically correct, the book is hard to put down and often very amusing.

Paperback: 172 pages
Publisher: The Grimsay Press (June 2008) 
Language English 
ISBN-10: 1845300521
ISBN-13: 978-184

Price: £14.50 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK5300521

William Snow Rogers: Garden Planning



This book is much expanded and enlarged from the author's first book - Villa Gardens - which he published in 1902.  Drawing on the works of Mawson, Robinson and others, William Rogers provides a 'classic' view of - and a fascinating insight into - early 20th century design.  Little is known about him as a designer of historical note, but he lays claim to having designed some 'hundreds of gardens'.  By their small and urban nature few if any will have survived but Rogers was obviously at the vanguard of urban garden design, with a predisposition to the fashionable flower garden rather than the vegetable garden.  The black and white plans throughout the book are inspiring in their simplicity, and give classic solutions to urban garden shapes.  As the author maintains, "the cost of good design is a trifling sum on the total outlay, and it invariably justifies itself".  The original advertisements, reflecting the period, are included at the end of the book.

Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: The Grimsay Press (June 2008) 
Language English 
ISBN-10: 184530053x
ISBN-13: 978-184530053x

Price: £22.50 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK


Thomas H. Mawson: The Life And Work Of An English Landscape Architect


Thomas Hayton Mawson (1861-1933) was one of the most celebrated Landscape Architects of the Edwardian era.  His works combined his horticultural and architectural skills, with works widely known in the UK and abroad.

He was the first president of the UK Landscape Institute and was well known for the creation of gardens, parks and civic spaces.  This book gives a fascinating insight into his life and the ups and downs of running a landscape practice.


Paperback: 380 pages
Publisher: The Grimsay Press (Sept 2012) 
Language English 
ISBN-10: 978-1-54530-70-5


Price to be confirmed, please contact for any query's


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