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The American Garden

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In a move away from British gardens we will examine the influential, pioneering and significant gardens created, and being created, throughout America.

From the formal gardens apparently of the 17th Century to the highly influential gardens of modernism and the prairie, our discussion of a range of private and public gardens will provide a view of what is happening throughout America today, showing the incredible influence the gardens from this vast and diverse country have had on our own gardens.

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

  • American Gardens Hardcover; Monty Don (Prestel)
  • Desert Gardens Of Steve Martino; Caren Yglesias (Monacelli Press)
  • Gardening Across the Pond: Anglo-American Exchanges, from the Settlers in
  • Virginia to Prairie Gardening; Richard Bisgrove (Pimpernel Press Ltd)
  • Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes; Piet
  • Oudolf , Rick Darke (Timber Press)
  • Prairie-Style Gardens: Capturing the Essence of the American Prairie Wherever
  • You Live; Lynn M. Steiner (Timber Press)
  • Private Paradise: Contemporary American Gardens; Charlotte M. Frieze
  • (Monacelli Press)
  • Paradise of Exiles: The Anglo-American Gardens of Florence; Katie Campbell
  • (Frances Lincoln)
  • Outstanding American Gardens: A Celebration: 25 Years of the Garden
  • Conservancy; Page Dickey , Marion Brenner (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)
  • Visionary Landscapes: Japanese Garden Design in North America, The Work of
  • Five Contemporary Masters; Kendall H. Brown ( uttle Publishing)
  • Golden Age of American Gardens: Priva: Proud Owners, Private Estates,
  • 1890-1940; Mac Griswold , Eleanor Weller (Harry N. Abrams, Inc )
  • Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing the American Landscape; Charles E.
  • Beveridge , David Larkin (Rizzoli International Publications)
  • Ornamental Grasses: Wolfgang Oehme and the New American Garden; Stefan
  • Leppert (Frances Lincoln)
  • Bold, Romantic Gardens; Wolfgang Oehme, James Van Sweden
  • (HarperCollins Design International)
  • The Gardens of Bunny Mellon; Linda Jane Holden, Sir Peter Crane, Roger
  • Foley (Vendome Press)

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.