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It is with great sadness we report the sudden death of Michael Packard on Wednesday June 1st 2022.

The family are working through his affairs, and as such, no trading is possible that would usually have occurred through Michael himself, however some books are still available from his distributors.

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Your patience and understanding will be appreciated through this difficult period.

LANDSCAPE APPRECIATION – Theories since the Cultural Turn

LANDSCAPE APPRECIATION – Theories since the Cultural Turn
  • Paperback ISBN-13: 978 1 85341 128 1
  • Pages: 360 pages
  • Images: 58 black & white photos & line drawings, 110 colour images
  • Dimensions: 246 x 189mm
  • Weight: 2kg
  • Published in December 2019 and launched at the ICOMOS meeting in London on 12 December 2019.

Author(s): David Jacques


Explanations for what makes one landscape scene preferred over another – formalistic, cultural and ecological – continue to be generated by landscape architects and land managers, philosophers, and psychologists. This is needed for planning in the countryside and the protection of natural scenery, yet agreement still eludes us.

This book does not favour any particular theory; instead it critiques the many theories seen over the last half-century. It informs readers of the main lines of argument so that they can make up their own minds.

The first part of the book, on post-war aesthetics, examines ideas about the unconscious, holism, overarching ‘metanarratives’, and the search for objectivity. The second part describes the consequences on the ‘cultural turn’ in that period, giving rise to new theories taking the human as reference. Cultural geography, cultural landscapes, changes in methods of assessment and some new ideas on landscape design are set in this context. Meanwhile ecocentrism proposed a very different approach. The final part looks into the philosophical input, expanding upon ‘environmental aesthetics’. It concludes with a more down-to-earth analysis of the ‘satisfactions’ from immediate formal qualities, the sublime, meanings, and beauty.


Part A: THE UNFATHOMABLE WORKINGS OF THE UNIVERSE: 1. Art into landscape – The problems with functionalism, Landscape among the fine arts, Ideas into form, The laws of the universe, Unconscious expression; 2. Landscape beauty – The English countryside, The selection of the British national parks, The search for objectivity, Formal qualities; 3. Natural instincts – Environmental determinism, Unity with nature, People and the land, The imperative of climate and soil, The ethics of the land, New landscapes, Self-ordering complexity, Stewarding the biosphere, Prospect, refuge and hazard symbolism. Part B: THEORISING IN THE LATE TWENTIETH CENTURY: 4. The post-modern condition – Shattered dreams, Uncertainty and practical knowledge, Complexity and chaos, Cognition, Consciousness and creativity, The aesthetic experience, The use of history, The sociology of criticism; 5. Facts, value and ideology – Reading the landscape, Knowledge gives value, The rise of cultural landscapes, Morality and action, The logic of ecocentrism, The metaphysics of nature; 6. Landscape preferences – An unconscious recognition of beauty, An hereditary feel for beauty? Form revealing idea? How preferences arise, Place and pleasure, Landscape assessment methods; 7. Memory maketh humanity – Restoration tragedies, Conservation and interpretation, Change and ephemerality, Conservation guidelines for landscape; 8. Post-modern designs – Contextualism, Philosophy becomes design, Designer ecology, Land art, New work in historic contexts; Part C: REFLECTIONS: 9. Philosophical movements – Metanarratives, Cosmology, Phenomenology; 10. Environmental aesthetics – Ronald Hepburn, Cognitive versus non-cognitive perception, Disinterestedness and engagement, Relevance and preparation, Objective versus subjective; 11. Satisfactions – Sensual pleasure, Formalism, Beauty, Designed landscapes, The meaning of gardens, Assessing aesthetic value.

Notes and references at the end of each chapter. Bibliography. Abbreviated captions to illustrations. Picture credits. Index.


The balanced, didactic approach taken will make this a standard text for all those in teaching at university level and for professionals in landscape practice.

Author / Compiler

David Jacques

David Jacques

Dr David Jacques, is a landscape historian and conservationist. He was influenced by the environmental movement of the early 1970s, and became committed to exploring the right relation between people and the land, giving him an abiding interest in the history and theory of landscape. He has since written several books and numerous articles on garden and landscape history, for which he is perhaps best known. His first foray into landscape appreciation was in 1980 when he criticised the landscape-evaluation methods of the day in the Journal of Environmental Management. His views on this topic developed when working on landscape-planning and highway-alignment projects for consultancies, and also from 1987 when he became responsible for the Register of Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest as the Inspector of Historic Parks and Gardens at English Heritage. In the early 1990s he was central to the campaign to revise UNESCO’s criteria for world-heritage sites to allow the recognition of cultural landscapes, and in the 2010s has several times assisted the International Council for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in its advice to UNESCO over nominations for them.


Please order through all good bookshops - our main wholesaler is Gardners of Eastboune – or you may order directly from the publisher at the address or phone number at the opening of this website.


Packard Publishing Ltd
14 Guilden Road
PO19 7LA

Tel & Fax +44 (0)1243 537977