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Gardens and the Subconscious

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Gardens enable us to remember, to tap into some desire to relive interludes of innocence and to wander again in the woodlands and meadows of our subconscious.

From the Zen gardens of Japan, to those of William Kent, Geoffrey Jellicoe and Charles Jencks, we will look at the art of creating a garden which provokes all levels of response.

Learning and teaching

There will be lectures, case studies and group discussions.

Coursework and assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved.

Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects. The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning.

Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

Reading suggestions

  • Stephen Anderton; Lives of the Great Gardeners (Thames and Hudson Ltd – Oct 2016)
  • Sue Bennett; Five Centuries of Women and Gardens: 1590s-1990s (National Portrait Gallery Publications–Oct 2000)
  • Jinny Blom; The Thoughtful Gardener: An Intelligent Approach to Garden Design (Jacqui Small LLP – Mar 2017)
  • Maggie Campbell-Culver; The Origin of Plants: The People and Plants That Have Shaped Britain's Garden History Since the Year 1000 (Headline Book Publishing; First Edition edition (6 Sept. 2001)
  • Penelope Hobhouse; In Search of Paradise: Great Gardens of the World (Frances Lincoln; (21 Sept. 2006)
  • George Plumptre; The English Country House Garden: Traditional Retreats to Contemporary Masterpieces (Frances Lincoln (4 Sept. 2014)
  • Thomas Rainer and Claudia West, Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes (Timber Press 2016)
  • Rory Stuart; What are Gardens for?, Frances Lincoln (5 September 2012)
  • Victoria Summerley; Secret Gardeners: Britain's Creatives Reveal Their Private Sanctuaries (Frances Lincoln (5 Oct. 2017)
  • Tom Turner; European Gardens: History, Philosophy and Design (Routledge; (6 May 2011)
  • Tom Turner; Asian Gardens: History, Beliefs and Design (Routledge; (11 Aug. 2010)
  • Tom Turner; European Gardens: History, Philosophy and Design (Routledge; (6 May 2011)

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.


21-23 Senghennydd Road
CF24 4AG