Celebrating Repton in Sheffield: Joint conference on the first landscape gardener

Repton and Horticulture

To celebrate the life and work of Humphry Repton, the ‘last great landscape designer of the eighteenth century', the Department of Landscape Architecture, together with the Friends of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens, organised a two-day conference entitled Repton and Horticulture.

Held in the Dorothy Fox Education Centre in the Sheffield Botanical Gardens, speakers to the conference included Peter Goodchild (York), Camilla Beresford (London), Mark Laird (Toronto), John Phibbs, Kate Felus, Mick Thompson (Ashridge), Jonathan Finch (York), Jan Woudstra, Sarah Rutherford and Brent Elliott (RHS).

The conference was part of the Celebrating Humphry Repton campaign, organised by the Gardens Trust, which features events in honor of the renowned landscape designer all throughout the country.

Repton and Horticulture highlighted Humphrey Repton’s interest in the practice of gardening and horticulture. Known for using planting to conceal or reveal views, Repton was was very particular in his objectives to create a pictureque appearance. He used planting to create spaces and reintroduced themed or specialised gardens near the house, while also encouraging gardening for women and children. His ideas on horticulture and landscape gardening were adopted by contemporaries, and have been reinterpreted by later generations.

Repton and Horticulture Repton and Horticulture

The second day of the conference consisted of a guided tour to Wentworth Woodhouse and followed the stages of the approach in Repton’s design there, up to ‘the burst’, where the view to the house was first revealed.

Patrick Eyres, Karen Lynch and Anthony Barber-Lomax, the Fitzwilliam Wentworth Estates manager, organised this part of the conference, which was concluded with a tour of the house and viewing terrace.

Repton and Horticulture was organized by Dr Jan Woudstra in conjunction with Jill Sinclair, chair of the Friends of the Botanical Gardens Sheffield. It was held on 20 and 21 September 2018 and was supported by the Yorkshire Gardens Trust, The Gardens Trust, Stanley Smith (UK) Horticultural Trust, Historic England, the North of England Horticultural Society and the RHS.

Download the full programme here.

Find out more about the Celebrating Humphry Repton campaign.