Historic England, August 2020 – The Best of England’s Post-War Parks, Gardens and Landscapes Protected


Joyce Robinson was a pioneer in gravel gardening, and started using gravel after a trip to Greece where she fell in love with how plants grew freely in natural swathes of gravel.

In August this year Denmans Garden was added to the National Heritage List for England as a Grade II post-war garden in a major breakthrough in the effort to preserve and restore this important West Sussex Garden. The accolade came as Denmans marked the 50th anniversary of the first gravel garden created there by plantswoman, Joyce Robinson.

The newly announced protections by Historic England are the result of a three-year collaboration with The Gardens Trust. Thanks to suggestions from landscape professionals and members of the public, twenty of the best examples of landscapes designed between the end of the Second World War and the early 1990s have been identified for protection on the Register of Parks and Gardens.


“These are living landscapes,” says Dominic Cole, president of the Gardens Trust, “places that people are using in their daily lives. They’re often not thought of as pieces of art or design, as they’re simply there, blending into the background. We wanted to highlight the fact that, in each case, someone has thought hard about what that place feels like to be in.”