Malin Arnesson - Joakim Seiler at Gunnebo House and Gardens

Lawns and meadow cultivation in Historic Gardens

Webinar: 22nd of February 2022
Practical workshop: 7th to 10th of June 2022, in Sweden

Lawns in historic gardens are rarely seen as of cultural or historical value. In fact they can often harbour rich seedbanks valuable for biodiversity whilst expressing the more intangible heritage of the traditional craft skills required to maintain them. Both physical and cultural aspects will therefore be considered alongside the environmental imperative to try to counter climate change.

Photo: Joakim Seiler

This topic will present the history of lawns and meadows in historic gardens as well as different opportunities with these elements today. How to work with authenticity, biodiversity and social values connected to lawns and meadows in historic gardens will be discussed.


On the 22nd February 2022 an all day webinar will be arranged. The traditional native meadow as well as the modern non-native meadows will be presented. Both the short trimmed lawn and the modern alternative lawns will be discussed. This webinar will strengthen the historical knowledge of the participants as well as showing the different alternatives for lawns in historic gardens today.

Professor Maria Ignatieva, University of Western Australia.
PhD Eva Gustavsson, University of Gothenburg.
PhD Joakim Seiler, Gunnebo House and Gardens and University of Gothenburg.
Sue France, CEO The Green Estate Cic and Director, Pictorial Meadows Ltd.
David Hedges-Gower, Lawn consultant and chairman of the UK Lawn Association.
Meadow and horticultural consultant Jenny Nilsson.

The main objective is to introduce the themes:
– Development of the lawn  and meadow from medieval to modern times
– Function and cultural significance of lawns and meadows
– Maintenance methods: ancient and modern
– The development from meadow to fine lawn and back again and how to combine historical authenticity with modern sustainable alternatives.
– Historic lawn care in a modern environment

Photo: Tina Westerlund


Gunnebo hosts this four days workshop, with the topic ‘Lawns and meadow cultivation in Historic Gardens’ which is a follow up on the webinar.

The workshop focus on heritage gardening methods. Old tools and techniques for lawn and meadow cultivation will be practiced during the workshop. The idea is to develop a deep sense of practical garden history and garden conservation. With the scythe training, the aim is to develop sufficient skills to make the participants tradition bearers for this crucial aspect of meadow cultivation and care for biodiversity. The workshop is over four days to provide sufficient time for developing these craft skills among the participants, not just to demonstrate techniques. Another theme for the workshop is to highlight the latest knowledge regarding sustainable cultivation of meadows and historic lawns as well as looking at modern alternatives to lawns.

Photo: Gunnebo House and Gardens

The practical workshop gives the participants the chance to take part in the actual cultivation and discuss topics like: How to work with authenticity, biodiversity and social values connected to lawns and meadows in historic gardens.

Photo: Tina Westerlund

Photo: Johnny Mattsson


Jenny Nilsson is the presenter at the Hedges and Topiary cultivation-webinar. She is also very involved in the Lawn and meadow topic, as the presenter and speaker at the webinar and instructor at the workshop.
Joakim has a PhD in Garden Conservation and works at Gunnebo House and Gardens and the University of Gothenburg.

Overview project activities


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TopicWebinar dateWorkshop dates
– 25/05/2022
– 10/06/2022
– 31/08/2022
– 12/07/2023
– 06/09/2023
– 29/06/2023
– 11/09/2024
– 28/08/2024
– 05/06/2024

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Lawns and meadow cultivation in Historic Gardens

Webinar date: 2022/02/22
Practical Workshop date: 2022/06/07

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