A Celebration of English Gardens: From the Archives of Country Life Magazine

“That the English are a nation of gardeners as well as weather-watchers is well known; the two national obsessions are as intertwined as the honey-suckle and the hedgerow,” writes Country Life Garden Editor Kathryn Bradley-Hole. Her Royal Oak lecture, drawn from her new book, celebrates English gardens featured in Country Life, a pictorial weekly journal that launched in 1897, the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

From picturesque cottage gardens to grand formal gardens; from kitchen gardens to water gardens; and from medieval monastery gardens to cutting-edge 21st century gardens, Kathryn will take a fresh look at horticultural treasures from across England. She will discuss those created by designers such as Capability Brown, Gertrude Jekyll, Rosemary Verey, Piet Oudolf and Arne Maynard among others.

She will illustrate world famous gardens—Waddesdon Manor (NT), Hidcote (NT), and Great Dixter—alongside new and lesser-known places such as Woolbeding (NT), Warnell Hall, Cumbria, and Hauser & Wirth in Bruton. Using stunning photography from the archives of Country Life, Kathryn will distill the essence of what makes the British garden style so popular and celebrate English garden-making in all its astonishing variety, wit and inspiration.

Thank you to our co-sponsor: Freeman’s; The Garden Conservancy; Oxford & Cambridge Society of Philadelphia; The English-Speaking Union, Philadelphia Branch; Rizzoli

Garden Conservancy

The Mosaic Parterre at Biddulph Grange Garden, Staffordshire ©National Trust Images Andrew Butler

The Mosaic Parterre at Biddulph Grange Garden, Staffordshire ©National Trust Images Andrew Butler

Kathryn Bradley-Hole

Gardens Editor at Country Life

Kathryn Bradley-Hole’s distinguished career as a horticultural writer includes 18 years as Gardens Editor of the iconic English weekly magazine, Country Life, between 2000 and 2018. She has authored six books on a variety of garden subjects, including the bestselling BBC “Gardeners’ World” Garden Lovers’ Guide to Britain and Lost Gardens of England from the Archives of Country Life. Her most recent book, English Gardens from the Archives of Country Life Magazine, was just published by Rizzoli last October. Her own gardening interests have an organic approach, to support a diversity of wildlife.


South Garden, Hilborough House, Norfolk © Country Life


Monday April 20 | 6:30 p.m.
This lecture will be preceded by a reception & book signing at 6:00 p.m.


Freeman’s Auction House
2400 Market Street, Suite 105
Best accessed from the Aramark Building’s East Promenade, from either the south side of Market Street or the north side of Chestnut Street


$30 members; $40 non-members

South Garden, Hilborough House, Norfolk © Country Life