Episode 127: John Brookes with Gwendolyn van Paasschen

This week, I’m speaking to Gwendolyn van Paaschen about the legendary garden designer John Brookes. Gwendolyn is the owner of Denmans Garden and chairman of the John Brookes-Denmans Foundation. Gwendolyn’s book (released 7th Oct) ‘How to Design a Garden’ brings together a collection of John’s works from across his lengthy career, disseminating the fundamental principles which underpinned his design work, in a way that is useful to both professionals and home gardeners. Gwendolyn is carrying on John’s work at Denmans by opening the garden to the public and as she puts in at the end of the interview, keeping his conversation going.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: House Spiders

What we cover

Who was John Brookes and what are some of the highlights he accomplished during his long career?

The importance of designing in the vernacular and John expressed this through his designs

How John’s design style and interests evolved during his career

Garden designers today who particularly embody the work of John Brookes

His influence on garden design over the past 50 years

The long term effect of John’s design in the realms of amateur gardening

About Gwendolyn van Paasschen

Gwendolyn van Paasschen, a garden designer and writer, worked with landscape designer John Brookes MBE and helped write his memoir, A Landscape Legacy (Pimpernel Press, 2018). Chairman of the John Brookes-Denmans Foundation, she owns Denmans Garden. Currently writing a book about Denmans, she also writes about garden design.


How to Design a Garden By John Brookes MBE. Edited and introduction by Gwendolyn van Paasschen. Preface by Andrew Duff Released 7th October


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