Public policy and the private garden : an analysis of the effect of government policy on private garden provision in England and Wales 1918-81
The prevalence of dwellings provided with private gardens is a feature which is often commented upon by visitors to England and Wales. Indeed the garden has almost come to be regarded as a national characteristic of the English. In fact the majority of dwellings in England and Wales possess private gardens, though the size and distribution of these varies both as a result of locational, sectoral and tenurial differences. This high level of private garden provision contrasts with the situation in most of Continental Europe. This thesis therefore explores the possible explanations for this phenomenon, but more pertinently, considers the hypothesis that Government, both at the Central and Local level, has shown consistent support for the private garden over the period 1918-81. To this end the text is divided into three Sections. The first considers the importance of the garden in modern society, both in cultural, psychological, functional and quantitative terms. The second examines the history of Central Government policy, focussing on political and professional attitudes to housing and garden provision, over the period 1918-81. The third Section examines current Central and Local Government policy by means of a sample survey of eighty Local Authority District Councils. Each Section of the thesis is complete in itself and includes both a separate introduction and conclusion. General conclusions covering the whole thesis appear immediately after Section Three.