The Care & Conservation of Shared Georgian Gardens

by Edinburgh World Heritage in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 10th November 2017 we successfully raised £1,230 with 43 supporters in 56 days

Help us to fund this important book, decades in the making, and of great value to residents of Edinburgh's New Town and beyond.

by Edinburgh World Heritage in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom


This year marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town, and the publication of John Byrom’s much-awaited manual on the gardens that are so integral to this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The book is the result of decades of research, providing detailed guidance on the long term management and maintenance of Edinburgh’s 47 circus, square, crescent and informal grid-edge gardens that has remained previously unpublished.

These gardens are very special, specifically designed to add colour and vibrancy to the city’s urban landscape – lush green contrasts to the classical sandstone architecture. They not only contribute aesthetically to Edinburgh’s ‘outstanding universal value’, they are also communal spaces, looked after and enjoyed by the residents of the surrounding buildings.


It is an essential item for garden management committees, but the book has a wider purpose to inform an interested public and academic readership beyond Edinburgh. John has been providing advice and support on garden landscapes for many years, and with the publication of this book, his research and advice is available in perpetuity. In fact, the need for a publication of this type to be made publicly available was first identified over 30 years ago.


Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, an independent charity with the aim of ensuring the city’s World Heritage status is a dynamic force that benefits everyone, has provided funding for this publication, along with Edinburgh Decorative & Fine Arts Society. We are looking for support from the public to help us with the contribution.  

The book is being published by The Word Bank, a not-for-profit community-focused venture. As such, John will receive no payment or royalties, and should sales of the book exceed anticipated numbers and generate a profit, these funds will be ploughed straight back to support the community of Edinburgh, via The Word Bank and the Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust.

The author

John Byrom is a landscape architect and former Director of the Masters in Landscape Architecture at the University of Edinburgh. In the 1960s, John was commissioned to appraise the condition of Edinburgh’s New Town Gardens by the Civic Trust and was part of the survey which led to the creation of the Edinburgh New Town Conservation Committee. The work also became the basis of his late wife, Connie Byrom’s book The Edinburgh New Town Gardens (Birlinn, 1995).

He was subsequently commissioned by Edinburgh World Heritage Trust to produce a handbook in response to a perceived need for professional advice on their appropriate maintenance and replanting of the New Town gardens. The project was overseen by a steering group chaired by Professor David Ingram, former Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

The book

The finished product will be a beautiful, colour hardback book. Please see the various reward levels on the right for more details.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

Help support the publication of this book with a small donation. Edinburgh World Heritage is a charity organisation with a mission to connect people to their heritage in everything we do. We have helped support the funding of this book, and your donation will go towards its publication. You will receive a personalised email of thanks for your donation (Please note: you will not receive a copy of the book).

£25 or more

29 of 300 claimed

£25 Reward

A copy of the book. This excludes delivery! Books will be available for collection from the Edinburgh World Heritage office, located at 5 Bakehouse Close, 146 Canongate.

£40 or more

13 of 10 claimed

£40 Reward

A signed copy of the book. With a limited print run, these books are already a rare treat, but a handful have been made even more special with a signature from John Byrom. A valuable addition to any collector's library. (Collection only – no delivery option)

£250 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£250 Reward

You will receive a signed copy of the book with a personalised message from author John Byrom. Also, you will be invited to join him on an exclusive walking tour of selected gardens mentioned in the book, and enjoy some light refreshments.

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