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Great piece on Brenda Colvin on Instagram


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The richness of talent of #womeninlandscapedesign never ceases to amaze me. This is #brendacolvin CBE(1897-1981) one of THE most important #landscapearchitects of the twentieth century.(Photo 1)Born in India her early years exposed her to a diverse range of landscapes, plants & gardens. Returning to the UK for school she lived with her guardians in a Grace & Favour apartment at Hampton Court exploring the historic gardens after hours. Joining #SwanleyCollege in 1919 (photo 2) to study horticulture she was soon drawn to the design course there given by landscape architect #MadelineAgar (who had trained in USA). When Agar left Colvin was unhappy with her replacement’s lack of experience. So, she voted with her feet & also departed,along with a few other students, & they employed Agar directly to complete their formal studies. Thereafter she worked for Agar in 1921 acting as her #clerkofworks on a large war memorial garden in Wimbledon. In 1922 she set up in practice on her own & from that year to 1979 she worked on approximately 675 commissions & never formally retired. She absolutely lived for Landscape. The scale of the projects on which she worked was diverse & impressive- the works often incorporating extensive earthworks & creation of water bodies; from hectares of naturalistic planting to detailed ornamental planting she demonstrated exceptional skill. The types of sites varied from small private gardens, to commercial offices, universities, power stations & other industrial sites. Professionalism was very important to Brenda & she was a founding member of the #instituteof landscapearchitects (ILA & now known as the Landscape Institute) in 1929 & THE FIRST female president of the ILA – thought to be the first female president of any environmental or engineering professional body. In 1948 she was also a founding member of International Federation of Landscape Architects. See next post for more info.Photo 3: private garden ‘The Old Rectory’ at Clipsham, Oakham 1938-43; Photo 4 Private garden for modern house in Thatcham, Berkshire; Photo 5 #trimpleyresevoir Worcestershire; Photo 6: #rugeleypowerstation Staffordshire 1964-75 Photo 7: #universityofeastanglia

A post shared by Women_In_Landscape_Design (@women_in_landscape_design) on Feb 17, 2019 at 4:37am PST

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#BrendaColvin #MadelineAgar #Swanley

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