OPENspace Research Seminar – Dr Francisca Lima

This is a recording from OPENspace Research Seminar by Dr Francisca Lima, titled “Three Gardens at Sight: Monet, Jekyll and Jarman”. It was run in person on Tuesday 16th May 2023, 13:00-14:00 at Edinburgh College of Art and then repurposed as an OER under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.

Seminar Title: Three Gardens at Sight: Monet, Jekyll and Jarman

Between 1989 and 1990, and after receiving his HIV positive diagnosis, Derek Jarman – British film director, artist and writer – decided to embark on two related tasks: the development of his garden at Dungeness and the writing of a diary entitled “Modern Nature”. Under the cover of a gardening diary, Jarman explores his hidden childhood memories, the tension with the press and government, the memories of his dying friends and the prospect of long-term illness and blindness.  Stitching all these threads together, as a perfect background, is the development of his garden in waves of growth and demise, always either physically present or dreamt of.

In a similar path of constant personal endeavour and escape from fragility are the gardens of the famous British gardener and horticulturist Gertrude Jekyll – Munstead Wood – and Monet’s Giverny. In this presentation, these three gardens will be analysed and put in dialogue to explore how they have been made to perform the role of sight-full refuges for these designers and renown artists of their time.


Speaker: Dr Francisca Lima (PhD, FHEA) is a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh where she teaches history and theory of landscape architecture, and where she directs the Master in Landscape Architecture Programme. She is also one of the research articles’ editor at JoLA – Journal of Landscape Architecture.

Francisca’s research interests range from perception of landscape, to urban decline and green spaces in relation to community engagement and wellbeing.

Since 2005 she has been collaborating in research projects with LEAF Research Center and the Philosophy Research Center of the University of Lisbon. Francisca has also co-chaired the conferences, Shrinking Cities I Expanding Landscapes (2013) and Landscape and Life (2017), with the support of the University of Edinburgh and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation respectively, among other sponsors, and has been a guest co-editor of the Shrinking Cities I Expanding Landscapes’s special issue, Landscape Research Journal (2017).

Francisca has also worked as an independent designer since 2009 and she has completed her degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Lisbon, with a final dissertation focusing on the theme of Landscape Aesthetics (20/20).




Header: Screenshot from the poster for the seminar from