I was one of the founding editors Garden Design magazine, with the great Dorothy Kalins — and I’ve studied, visited, and written about gardens around the world.
I grew up in the beautiful countryside on the South Island of New Zealand, surrounded by gorgeous gardens in the English tradition. No wonder I gravitate toward these two wonderful new books, with page after page of English and English-inspired gardens.
I highly recommend these two new essential garden reference books, which offer garden enthusiasts and beginners hundreds of pages of beautiful photographs and a lifetime of expert knowledge, information and ideas.
Each of these books is an essential reference that covers dozens of styles, locations, and both practical and poetic information.
‘English Gardens From the Archive of Country Life Magazine’ by Kathryn Bradley-HoleIn this weighty and beautifully designed tome of 494 pages, more than, sixty-two gardens are portrayed in full glory.
It is one of the most beautiful books on gardening, and a most profoundly inspiring book on the art and practice of garden design and maintenance.
Gardens shown and described in detail include gardens that are centuries old, and others that are as modern and visionary as tomorrow.
I like the way the book is organized around twelve stylistic groups. On its pages are castle gardens, cottage gardens, historic gardens, along with grand estates (Blenheim Palace and Chatsworth) and exquisite small garden plots.
Among the famous gardens in ‘English Gardens’ are Sissinghurst (a favorite of mine) as well as Kew and Wisley, and Gertrude Jekyll’s garden.
I love also the classical elegance and style of Rosemary Verey’s Barnsley House, and many other gardens by noted women gardeners.
Horticultural greats also include ‘Capability’ Brown, Piet Oudolf, David Hicks, the Bannermans, and Arne Maynard.
I admired also the fine examples of plant collections and plant collectors, cutting gardens, abstract gardens, glasshouses, formal gardens, informal wild gardens, and visionary gardens.
Also notable in ‘English Gardens’ are magnificent topiary gardens (you will want to pick up the hedge cutters and shears) along with kitchen gardens, borders, rose gardens, walled gardens, wild gardens, modern planting designs, and gardens with ponds and fountains.
Kathryn Bradley-Hole’s text is highly informative and enormously entertaining. There is a lot of horticultural information and practical and useful details.
There’s also a map of garden locations, and lists of gardens that are open to the public.
Oh, and there’s a charming Foreword by the Duke of Devonshire.
I admired also the index, as well as a bibliography with lists of important and useful gardening books for reference.
‘Garden Design Master Class’ Edited by Carl DellatoreThis beautifully designed and very comprehensive book consists of one hundred essays by world-famous garden designers/ landscape designers/horticulturists, garden visionaries and garden experts including Dan Pearson, Edwina von Gal, Jinny Blom, Charlotte Moss, Michael Trapp, Charlie McCormick, Arne Maynard, Nancy Goslee Power, Elizabeth Everdell and Dominique Lafourcade.
‘Garden Design Master Class’ spans hundreds of ideas and expert details on garden genres, principles, color hues, plant palettes, structures, ornaments, meadows, roses, perennials, bulbs, kitchen gardens, and trees.
I admire the way Dellatore selected essays that are philosophical, optimistic, abstract and theoretical. Each garden designer selected personal concepts, and some of them are wonderfully provocative and fresh.
‘Garden Design Master Class’ offers a comprehensive garden education. It’s rich with theory, practical information, and encouragement for gardeners to experiment and think long-term.
I found Dellatore’s 290 pages extremely original and very inspiring and helpful.
There’s an excellent index.
‘English Gardens From the Archives of Country Life Magazine’ is published by Rizzoli.
‘Garden Design Master Class’ is newly published by Rizzoli.
Photography published here with express permission of the publisher.
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