Dr Audrey Timm

Conservation of Historic Gardens

  • $75

    Learn in an online classroom with no more than 20 classmates. More

Course Description

Dr Audrey Gerber specialises in garden conservation, and has international experience in ornamental horticulture. Through this course, Audrey shares with you her knowledge and enthusiasm for conserving our historic gardens.

By the end of the course you will have an understanding of the many layers of significance of historic gardens around the world, and the value that conserving these has to us, and future generations.

Garden style is defined by a relationship between fashion and function. Influenced by politics, art and socio-economic trends, historic gardens provide us with opportunities for simple recreation or complex education from which we can learn about past cultures, horticultural techniques and patterns of life. Historic gardens are not living museums; they are enriched and challenged by change. Understanding the origin and influence of these changes, and recognising our capacity and responsibility to sensitively manage change, is the essence of conservation.

In this course Audrey will explain why conservation is relevant to you, locally and globally. You will learn how to research a site, using formal and informal sources. This will enable you to write a detailed statement of significance, which is essential to articulating why a site deserves to be conserved.

You will learn about elements of change, how these influence or threaten gardens, and how we can proactively respond. Audrey will guide you through the legislation that governs protection of heritage assets, and introduce you to ways in which you, as a professional or an enthusiastic amateur, can become more actively involved in conservation.

You'll learn:

  • why garden conservation is important
  • techniques to research garden history
  • managing change in a garden
  • how to become more involved in conservation of gardens

The course includes:

  • 4 on-demand video lessons - presented by Dr Audrey Gerber
  • lifetime access to the videos, notes and interactive class
  • flexible classes - join and learn when and where you like
  • downloadable lesson notes
  • practical (optional) historic garden research and conservation projects
  • access on your mobile, PC, Mac or laptop
  • small interactive online classroom - chat online to students from around the world and share your creative ideas

Time to complete the planting design course:

Every student is different but in general we think the whole course will take around 12 hours 45 minutes to complete including:

  • Video lessons: 2 hours 45 minutes in total
  • Course notes: 30 minutes per lesson
  • Your planting design projects: at least 2 hours per lesson

You'll need:

You don't need any special equipment but your assignments will be based around historic or heritage garden research.

This course is suitable for all students, but it will be particularly interesting to students of garden history or heritage landscape professionals.

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Course outline

  • The Ethos of Conservation

    In the first lesson you will learn about conservation philosophy, exploring the concepts of restoration, re-creation, and replicas. In this first week, Audrey walks you through examples to illustrate what historic gardens can teach us about society and culture, horticultural techniques, and design trends. You will learn about the events that have influenced and shaped the development of garden conservation in different countries. To highlight the global enthusiasm and commitment to conservation, Audrey introduces you to individuals, groups and organisations that advocate and champion the cause of conservation of historic gardens.

  • Researching a Heritage Site

    The second lesson teaches you how to research an historic garden. You will learn where to look for snippets of information, and how to piece the story together. Studying old maps and adapting modern techniques, Audrey describes curious findings and happenstances that have enabled lost gardens to come back to life. You will be shown examples to illustrate useful resources, methods and strategies, and hear about how this research has shaped conservation activities.

  • Writing a Statement of Significance

    In the third lesson you will hear about the reasons why a site may have conservation merit. Audrey will describe how different countries define heritage values, outlining similarities and varying cultural interpretations. You will learn how to prepare a Statement of Significance which articulates why a heritage site is worthy of conservation, and underpins how it should be managed, will be introduced to global, national and local legislation that guides conservation imperatives, and learn about the value of a Statement of Significance in responding to regulatory issues. Audrey will briefly present examples of more detailed heritage statements, such as Conservation Management Plans, Heritage Landscape Surveys, and Historic Landscape Analyses, and explain how they all rely on a clear understanding of why the site has heritage significance.

  • Managing Change

    In the final lesson, Audrey will describe the forms of change that threaten historic gardens. You will learn how climate change is likely to affect planted and structural elements of a garden. Audrey will lead you through examples of the threat of development to heritage sites, and show how compromise may be reached. You will learn strategies to adapt to natural senescence, replacing plants while maintaining the heritage significance. And all gardens need to adapt to changing techniques and improvements. Audrey will show how this can be sensitively achieved. And finally, you will learn how to become more actively involved in conservation advocacy and practice, and find out what formal and informal support and funding are available to you.

Buy now and start whenever you like

  • Peer

    Discover the benefits of group learning in an online interactive classroom of no more than 20 people. Get the most from shared knowledge and community study

    • Start course whenever you like
    • Practise what you learn with your peers
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • 4 course assignments
    • Group chat & direct message classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more

Gardening classroom - how it works

  • Start anytime

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments
  • Personal tuition

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors
  • Share ideas

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

Meet Dr Audrey Timm

Dr Audrey Timm - Gardening
Dr Audrey Timm is a horticultural scientist specialised in ornamental horticulture. Audrey’s expertise in Conservation of Historic Gardens brings together a lifelong interest in gardening and a career that has covered academic research in South Africa, floriculture industry R&D in Australia, and promoting the connection between design and ecology in urban landscapes with the University of Sheffield in the UK. As well as tutoring students in historic gardens and garden design, Audrey serves as Technical Advisor to the International Association of Horticultural Producers, where she leads programmes on green cities, sustainability, plant health, and novelty protection. Audrey is well positioned to influence gardens and landscapes past, present and future, encouraging appreciation and strategic investment for the well being of society.

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Awards & Accreditations

  • Good Web Guide
  • Red Herring Winner
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • Education Investor Awards 2021 - Finalist
  • CPD Accredited (provider 50276)