John Evelyn’s ‘Sylva – A Discourse on Forest Trees’

Tuesday 17 April 2018


The Talk

In the course of this evening talk find out more about the English writer, gardener and diarist John Evelyn (1620 – 1706) and his book ‘Sylva – A Discourse on Forest Trees’. This work was one of the ways he showed his great interest in the how, why and what of gardening and he was an innovator regarding plants as well as a skilled communicator. Evelyn grew up in Surrey and lived also in Sussex; his family had lands in and estates in Surrey, stretching into the Weald. He also spent some considerable time travelling abroad after his brief involvement in the Civil War.

The Speaker

Maggie Campbell-Culver is a garden and plant historian, writer, lecturer, a Fellow of the Linnean Society and a founder member of the charity ‘Plant Heritage’. With a keen interest in the history and origins of plants introduced to Britain, she has worked on a number of gardens in Sussex and Cornwall and was the Garden conservationist at Fishbourne Roman Palace near Chichester where she now resides. Maggie undertook the garden and landscape restoration of Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall overlooking the great harbour of Plymouth Sound. Maggie was one of the contributing editors of both ‘The Oxford Companion to the Garden’ and the ‘Handbook on Management of Historic Parks, Gardens and Landscapes’ for English Heritage (now Historic England).

Maggie has had articles published in magazines such as Country Life, The Tablet, The Countryman, Cornwall Garden Society Journal, as well as the French magazine Britmag and, until recently relocating back to the UK, she contributed a monthly feature about the plants that grow in Brittany on “Radio Spotlight on Brittany”.

Participant information

The talk will start with refreshments at 6pm and will begin at 6.30pm, duration of about 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Please bring suitable warm outdoor clothing and as part of this talk may take place outside.

Fee and refreshments

£14 per person, £10 for Museum Annual Members; £5 for Weald & Downland Museum Volunteers. Book 5 places and get the 6th place free. to include tea, coffee and cake from 6pm. Please let the Museum know in advance if you have any special dietary requirements.


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