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Gordon Hayward

Fee Range: $2500 - $5000

Hayward Gardens


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Gordon Hayward

Hayward Gardens

A 1971 graduate of Wesleyan University with a Masters, and having already begun a 17 year career teaching high school students how to write, Gordon Hayward gardened for clients part-time. In 1977  he restored the gardens around the Broadwell Manor House in The Cotswold Hills in England, and for the past 20 years he and his wife Mary, (who is from the Cotswolds) have been developing a one and one-half acre garden around a 220 year old cape in southern Vermont.

In 1984, he turned to the work of garden design, lecturing and writing full time.  He consults across the country for residential clients, their architects and builders.  He has written nine books and over 50 articles for Horticulture Magazine and Fine Gardening Magazine that relate to this work.



Twenty Years and Four Seasons in Our Garden

In this lecture, based on Gordon and Mary Haywards’ book THE INTIMATE GARDEN, Hayward uses his own gardens, and the personal story behind them, to explore what he has learned about garden design after 25 years of trial and error. Knowing that you attend lectures to get ideas for your own garden, Hayward uses their one and one-half acre Vermont garden and their tiny garden outside their cottage in the Cotswold Hills of England, to help you see how to put universal design principles to work in your garden. For example, he’ll explore how to use plants to define the passage of the seasons; the importance of a garden entrance and a clear itinerary leading from it; making transitions between garden areas; how plants help choose their neighbors; sitting areas with varying moods; placing ornaments with personal associations. The lecture is illustrated with forty pairs of slides taken across the entire 2003 calendar year by Richard Brown to show how a garden can be made to look terrific 12 months of the year.


 A Foolproof Approach to Good Garden Design

The idea that your house is the center of your garden is not just an aesthetic notion, but also a practical tool. In this one-hour lecture illustrated by 80 pairs of slides, Hayward shows how your house can help you design front, side and back gardens, as well as gardens between buildings, gardens in an ell or courtyard, or gardens centered around outbuildings. Your house, with its doors, windows, materials, style, dimensions and proportions, offers no end of clues to help you develop good gardens around it. Doors give rise to paths, terraces and sight-lines; windows frame views of those paths and gardens. Initial 
design ideas from the house then join up with those generated by outbuildings and other built structures–an existing terrace or deck, a gazebo or pergola, a garage, even driveway edges–to help you create a coherent landscape plan that seamlessly links house to garden. Hayward also provides ideas for dealing with the visual problems that center around air-conditioning units, cellar door bulkheads, electrical meter boxes, propane tanks, wellheads and others. This lecture comes out of Hayward’s fifth book, YOUR HOUSE YOUR GARDEN, published by WW Norton, Spring, 2003.



Visiting a garden, whether public or private, is a rare treat, in part because it can help us see our own garden more clearly. What we get out of visiting a garden, however, is not up to the garden; it’s up to us to ask the right questions. Too often we don’t get all we could out of a visit because we walk into a fine garden looking to see what we like and don’t like about it. Our own judgmental attitudes get in the way of learning new principles of garden design. And once we pass judgment, we often limit ourselves to the question, “What’s that plant?” In this one-hour lecture, Hayward will show 40 pairs of slides he has taken of grand gardens through America and England. Throughout he will show you how to look at grand gardens so as to gather new ideas for your own more modest garden. This lecture comes out of an article Hayward wrote for the April, 2002 issue of Horticulture Magazine.



Gordon Hayward first presented this lecture at The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1995. He has since been refining and presenting this slide-illustrated lecture in art museums and garden organizations across the country. This one-hour lecture is about the visual language shared between painters and garden designers. By juxtaposing a painting and a garden image on the screen, Hayward explores the many levels of similarity between how the painter and garden designer construct their images.   He begins by exploring style. For example, he places Childe Hassam’s In the Garden next to an image from his own garden in Vermont to show what an impressionist passage in a garden looks like. He also explores romanticism, abstract expressionism, cubism and other visual styles.

He then looks at several paintings by Bonnard, Cezanne, Monet and others as examples of paintings that show how gardeners can virtually copy ideas from painters when it comes to visually linking house to garden. He next moves into many design principles: composition, defining depth, creating foreground/background, how light can be manipulated, the power of focal points, pleasing contrasts, framing, contrasting textures and forms, the role of line, mass, volume, balance and harmony and how Gustav Klimt’s The Park shows the gardener how to keep trees pruned low to compress views under them. He closes with an exploration of color in paintings by Dufy, Gauguin, Matisse, and Amedeo Bocchi.

 Other painters represented include Thomas Cole, Braque, Mondrian, VanGogh, Caillebotte, Joseph Stella, Daubigny, Rousseau and the American impressionist Frank Vincent DuMond. Above all, this is a lecture about seeing.



To book this speaker please visit or call 508.485.8996