Caroline Holmes

Caroline Holmes

Caroline Holmes
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Garden historian of landscapes, people and plants and an author of 12 books who sifts humour from humus worldwide.

As a lecturer, speaker and broadcaster, I divide my work into three categories ACADEMIC BUT NOT DRY, INFORMATIVE AND ENTERTAINING, and PRACTICAL AND ENGAGING – specialising in exploring and evoking historical, artistic and symbolic references. My watchwords are learning not teaching, and enjoyment – this is equally applicable to my books, lectures, talks, and courses. By its nature ‘academic’ anticipates an appetite for a deeper study of a subject whilst ‘informative’ seeks an insight into a body of knowledge, and then there is the more sensory process of practical handling of plants and food.

Has lectured and researched on every continent except Antarctica. Regularly in the UK and Europe, as well as on cruises crossing the Baltic, Caribbean, Mediterranean and Red Seas, and the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. University of Cambridge ICE Academic Tutor and Course Director; lectures for the Royal Horticultural Society, museums and online for The Gardens Trust and organisations worldwide.

Books – many of which have been translated

2021 Where the wildness pleases – the English Garden celebrated 
Antique Collectors Club

2015 Water lilies and Bory Latour-Marliac, the genius behind Monet’s water lilies
Antique Collectors Club
Les Nenuphars et Bory Latour-Marliac – le genie a l’origine des nympheas de Monet

2014 RHS Herbs for the Gourmet Gardener
Nominated for ‘2014 Reference Book of the Year’ Award by the Garden Media Guild

2012 Impressionists in their Gardens 

Antique Collectors Club
Nominated for ‘2012 Inspirational Garden Book of the Year’ Award by the Garden Media Guild

2011 Scheduled for republication Monet at Giverny
Antique Collectors Club, first published 2001 by Cassell & Co
Monet Le jardinière impressioniste

Follies of Europe – Architectural Extravaganzas 

Antique Collectors Club
Listed Number One Best Seller Summer 2008 under Art and Architecture
Available in French as Folies et Fantaisies Architecturales d’Europe
Available in German as Von Lustschlössern, Tempeln und Ruinen

Why do Violets shrink? Answers to 280 thorny questions on the world of plants
The History Press

The not so little Book of Dung
Sutton Publishing 2006, now The History Press, translated into Korean 2007

Victorian Gardens
Schiffer Books

New Shoots, Old Tips
Frances Lincoln in agreement with the BBC based on my R4 series.

A Zest for Herbs
Mitchell Beazley
The Romantic Herb Garden in USA by Rizzoli

Icons of Garden Design
Wrote the introduction on the history of garden design, placing the 79 iconic gardens featured in a broader context including 19 profiles
Translated into German, Russian, Czech, Hungarian and Polish.

Symbolism in 18th Century Gardens – the influence of intellectual and esoteric currents, such as Freemasonry - contributed A Rose by any other name – an introduction to the symbolism of plants and planting
1001 Gardens you must see before you die – contributed 51 profiles

Watch me in action

Contributions to Viking TV include Monet’s Garden at Giverny;

and at home in our garden