Camel CSA member publishes book about pioneer landscape architect Brenda Colvin

January 31, 2011

Camel Community Supported Agriculture member Trish Gibson is to appear on Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 this Thursday talking about her newly-published book Brenda Colvin: A Career in Landscape.

Trish is a trustee of Cornwall Gardens Trust and has created her own beautiful millhouse garden at Pendogget near St Kew in north Cornwall.

Pioneering garden designer and landscape architect Colvin (1897-1981) has been hailed one of our greatest heroines. Yet most people have never heard of her.

Author Trish Gibson explains that Colvin had a very self-effacing attitude:

Her approach to all her projects – from the smallest town garden to the massive landscapes around power stations, reservoirs and new towns – was guided by a profoundly held belief that the control which modern man is able to exert over his environment is so great that we easily overlook the power of the environment over man.

Throughout her career Colvin fought for the cause of landscape, endeavouring to ensure that landscape architects be involved right from the start – not called in as ‘exterior decorators’ after the architects and engineers had finished their work. In Cornwall, as in the rest of the country, how many industrial estates have failed to follow this ideal, with ‘mega sheds’ plonked on hill tops with little or no attempt to blend them into their surroundings?

The book, which is published by Frances Lincoln, has already had favourable reviews in January’s edition of The English Garden and February’s Gardens Illustrated.

Trish will be talking about her book and Brenda Colvin on Woman’s Hour on Thursday 3 February between 10am and 10.45am.

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