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Jill Sinclair will explore the work and influence of Percy Cane, 20th-century garden designer, many of whose gardens are being reinterpreted today.

Now a rather forgotten name, Percy Cane (1881-1976) was once the ‘go-to’ garden designer for the rich and famous. In the 1950s, Country Life declared that he was as much in demand as Capability Brown had been.

Working in an arts and crafts style, he attracted clients from the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova to the last emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie. He worked on important estates such as Dartington Hall in Devon and Falkland Palace in Scotland, and on commissions in France, Austria, Greece and the USA.

As well as amassing eight Chelsea gold medals, Cane wrote extensively about garden design and attracted apprentices who went on to become modernist trailblazers.

Jill Sinclair will trace Cane’s influences, design style and significance, exploring how some of his gardens are being reinterpreted today by top designers such as Dan Pearson RDI and Tom Stuart-Smith.

Jill Sinclair is a director of the Historic Gardens Foundation and a tutor on English Landscape Gardens for the University of Oxford. Educated at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and with a Masters from the Inchbald School, Jill has written for the Garden History Journal, Historic Gardens Review (including an article on Percy Cane) and a variety of other scholarly and popular publications. She is currently advising a charitable group in Sheffield on the restoration of an early Cane garden.

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