The Contribution of Migration to London’s Parks and Gardens

Research volunteer Barbara Deason unveils one of LPG’s major research themes for 2023-24

We tend to talk about migration primarily in terms of the past 100 years or so, but migrants have of course been coming to this country for many hundreds of years. Like those who were born in the UK, they have contributed to our knowledge of horticulture, gardening practices and design since the earliest times.

The Anchor, The Drum, The Ship’ (2022 – ongoing), by Harun Morrison and Antonia Couling – commemorating the slave trade in Gladstone Park
(c) Caleb Morrison

However, we know little about who these migrants were or what influence they have had over the ways in which London’s many parks and gardens have developed.

LPG volunteers are hoping to add to knowledge in this area by researching the lives of gardeners, landscape designers, horticulturalists, and their gardens, working within a number of key themes. These may include:

• specific migrant groups such as Huguenots, those associated with the Windrush, or more recent migrations from Afghanistan, Iran and elsewhere;
• those who have influenced the development of specific spaces, such as Jewish cemeteries, mosque gardens, or community gardens;
• migrants or migrant communities who are celebrated in the names participating in of green spaces, or by statues or memorials;
• the plants and gardening practices migrants have introduced to the UK.

If you are interested in this research theme, or would like to know more, email LPG Research Co-ordinator Richard Capewell at research@londongardenstrust.org