PRESERVING, SHARING, AND CELEBRATING AMERICA’S CULTURAL LEGACY
For more than 30 years, the Garden Conservancy has been championing gardens and broadening the preservation narrative. Our strategic, multidisciplinary approach to preserving gardens weaves together the practical and the intangible. We facilitate on-the-ground restoration of historic gardens and also document gardens, capturing their history and spirit through film, photography, interviews, and archives filled with plans and maps. We hold conservation easements that permanently protect “conservation values”—the most significant features of gardens, such as their plant collections, design, hardscape, and/or vistas. We advocate for gardens at risk, taking a public stand to raise awareness and encourage action. And, as preservation is not possible without education, we engage the community and provide professional development to garden leaders, board members, and staff, and provide mentorship and resources as well.
Our latest book, #GardenPreservation: Preserving, Sharing, and Celebrating America's Cultural Legacy, published in June 2021, is an oversize, 64-page volume containing essays by experts in the field as well as short summaries of more than 100 preservation projects of the Garden Conservancy since 1989. Illustrated by Dana Scott Westring. Click here to view an animated PDF of the whole book.
Seven essays from leading voices in preservation, landscape architecture, garden history, conservation, and documentation—and one interview—present a range of perspectives on garden preservation:
Preserving Traces and Remnants of a Gardening Past, by Brent Leggs and Lawana Holland-Moore
I am here. by Shaun Spencer-Hester
Interview with the Stewards of Rocky Hills, Barbara and Rick Romeo
The Importance of Preserving Gardens, by Walter Hood
An Accidental Preservationist, by Judith B. Tankard
Preserving Gardens that Spring from the Soul, by Lucinda Brockway
Landscape and Memory at Sylvester Manor, by Donnamarie Barnes
The essays are followed by short profiles of more than 100 of the Garden Conservancy’s preservation projects and partners since 1989.
Both the essays and profiles reveal the garden as a cultural bridge, a site for scientific study and ecological conservation, a path to equity and social justice, a catalyst for design innovation, and a stimulus for spiritual expansion.
Book illustrations by Dana Scott Westring. Samples in the right column of this page, top to bottom: Gardens of Alcatraz (detail), San Francisco, CA; Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA; Greenwood Gardens, Short Hills, NJ; Ruth Bancroft Garden (detail), Walnut Creek, CA; Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum, Lynchburg, VA; and Blithewood Garden, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY