2The conservation process
An assessment of the value and potential of a garden is a vital first step in deciding what approach should be taken towards conservation. Resources are limited, particularly for those gardens which can be statutorily protected, and so it is necessary to determine criteria by which to judge a garden’s significance. The assessment of a garden must be based on an understanding of its present nature, its history and its relationship to other gardens of a comparable type. The usefulness of any inventory of gardens depends on how comprehensive it is, how consistent in its assessment of gardens, and the method of recording. These factors are crucial to the determination of the importance of a garden in the context of others.