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Historical Literature on English Gardening and Greenhouses

This guide focuses primarily on gardening in the early eighteenth-century, prior to the rise of landscape gardening in England.


From the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, England saw a rise in exotic plant specimens being imported from overseas, especially from British colonies. In order to cultivate these exotic species, which were used to a warmer climate, gardeners developed greenhouses and other structures to protect them from the cold. Prior to the mid-eighteenth century, these structures varied tremendously in their approach and effectiveness. The sources in this guide give a glimpse into  the gardening practices within England, and also provide context for England’s role within a global community of plant enthusiasts.