Published titles > Gardens > Kiftsgate Court Gardens
Kiftsgate Court Gardens cover image
UK £40.00
US $69.95
Hardback with jacket
192 pages
230 illustrations, 1 map
29 x 25 cm (11.5 x 9.75 in)
ISBN: 978-1-8589-4669-6
Kiftsgate Court Gardens
Three Generations of Women Gardeners

Vanessa Berridge

Photography by Sabina Rüber

Foreword by Robin Lane Fox

Kiftsgate Court in Gloucestershire is a garden composed of many different scenes. Some elements – such as the Rose Border, with its famously huge Kiftsgate rose – are traditionally English, but there are also areas of Italianate terracing, and others where a mixture of perennials, roses and rare and exotic shrubs thrive side by side. Equally remarkable is the fine balance between continuity and gentle evolution that the visitor finds at Kiftsgate. This is largely because the garden has belonged to the same family since its creation 100 years ago: three women have tended Kiftsgate, each building on the legacy of the previous generation. Beginning in 1919, Heather Muir gave Kiftsgate its structure, laying out the semi-formal gardens by the house, planting the Rose Border and terracing the Banks. In 1954 Heather was succeeded by her daughter Diany Binny, who extended and developed her mother’s planting, made more borders and paths, and refashioned the White Sunk Garden. Since the late 1980s Diany’s daughter Anne Chambers has been at the helm, further modernizing the garden, creating new areas of interest, and opening the site more often to the public. For this beautiful new book, Vanessa Berridge has had exclusive access to the Kiftsgate archive, which contains not only family photographs but also letters from their gardening friends, helping us to understand why and how Heather, Diany and Anne have gardened. Among the circle of famous friends and acquaintances who feature are Lawrence Johnston of Hidcote Manor (Kiftsgate’s neighbour); Vita Sackville-West, the creator of Sissinghurst Castle Garden; and the horticulturalist Graham Stuart Thomas, gardens adviser to the National Trust. The book also takes the reader on an extended tour of the garden, illustrated by the glorious photography of Sabina Rüber. The tour concludes with notes on Kiftsgate’s signature plants and Anne Chambers’s personal reflections on this, one of the great gardens of England.


The first book devoted to one of England's most beautiful and varied gardens, which has belonged to the same family since its creation

Published to coincide with the centenary of the garden at Kiftsgate and the opening of an exhibition at the Garden Museum in London

With specially commissioned photography of the garden year-round by Sabina Rüber

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Author Profiles

Vanessa Berridge is a garden historian whose books have included The Princess’s Garden: Royal Intrigue and the Untold Story of Kew (2015) and Great British Gardeners: From Early Plantsmen to Chelsea Medal Winners (2018). The launch editor of The English Garden magazine, she now writes widely on gardens for magazines and newspapers, and has contributed to several books on garden history, including The Gardens of England, published by Merrell in 2013. She won the 2019 Garden Book of the Year presented by the Garden Media Guild Awards for Kiftsgate Court Garden. She lives in Gloucestershire, where she opens her garden for the National Garden Scheme.

Robin Lane Fox is an Emeritus Fellow of New College, Oxford, where he runs the garden. He has been the weekly gardening columnist of the Financial Times since 1970.


Sabina Rüber is an acclaimed gardens photographer. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Gardens Illustrated, House & Garden, The Times and The Observer. She collaborated with the writer Clare Foster on Merrell's book Painterly Plants, published in 2012.

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Country Living

Kiftsgate Court Gardens by Vanessa Berridge is highly informative, concise and constantly surprising ... she tells a fascinating story... the text's range, its layout and its superb year-round photos by Sabina Rüber make it an unmissable book

Financial Times

Filled with sumptuous photography

Gardens Illustrated

Glorious garden … fantastic planting … There is so much to take away in ideas

This England
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