Mark Laird is Adjunct Professor in the History of Landscape Architecture. He teaches early modern landscape history and a seminar on plants and animals in the history of landscape design. Based in Toronto as a consultant in historic landscape preservation, he advises on sites in Europe and North America.
Projects include: Hestercombe, Croome Court, Gibside and Strawberry Hill in England; Fürst-Pückler-Park in Germany; the Belvedere Garten and Schloß Hof in Austria; and Rideau Hall, Parkwood, Chiefswood, and the Halifax Public Gardens in Canada. For his replanting work at Painshill Park, England, Laird was joint recipient of a 1998 Europa Nostra medal. He has been an Associate Director of Painshill Park Trust since 2004.
His research on eighteenth-century planting developed from his practice and is presented in The Flowering of the Landscape Garden (1999). Using watercolor reconstructions to complement textual analysis, Laird has also published extensively on the history of horticulture from the Baroque to Gardenesque, and on preservation philosophy and practice.
Educated at the universities of Oxford, Edinburgh, and York, he was Research Fellow at Chelsea Physic Garden in London, twice a Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks, and has taught at the University of Toronto. He is currently serving as a Senior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks. He co-edited Mrs. Delany & her Circle (2009) to complement his co-curated exhibition at Yale and in London. Supported by a Senior Fellowship from the Paul Mellon Centre in London, he has recently completed the manuscript for his forthcoming book A Natural History of English Gardening: 1650-1800.