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Landscape and Labour: Gilbert White's Garden 1751-1793 (2005)




This brief booklet, just 32 pages, was prepared by Paul Foster & David Standing; but provides a comprehensive account of the development of the garden at The Wakes from White’s first records of 1751 right through to his final notes in the year of his death in 1793.


Detailed Description

White’s garden at The Wakes is a compelling example of what can be achieved by modest means.   At a time when the great gardens of the eighteenth century were being landscaped and designed by international figures such as ‘Capability’ Brown (born in 1751, just five years before White), the garden at Selborne benefited from White’s tours across the country and visits to many of the great sites of the period –from which he took many ideas to be incorporated in the design at Selborne.

     At the same time, of course, of his interest in design, certain aspects of the garden appealed to his particular taste – growing melons, for instance, as well as

achieving the necessary supplies for the kitchen.  Both aspects of the garden are detailed in the booklet, which gives a dated list of key events in the development of the garden, as well as sections devoted to:  an understanding of the relationship between the ‘productive’ garden and the surrounding landscape (essentially Selborne Hill); an analysis of work in the Vegetable Garden and in the Fruit Garden – particularly White’s interest in wall-fruit; and a long section on the Flower Garden & Pleasure Ground.  There is also, included detailed plans of the names of the various borders and fields, and the location of numerous garden constructions – the oil jar vases, for instance, the mount and wine pipe, and the location of Hercules.


ISBN 0-9506971-7-6