Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Gardener’s Garden

I get a lot of emails from companies wanting me to review their products, I dismiss most of them after a quick glance. Every once and awhile though something amazing comes through and I feel extremely fortunate, this is one of those times...

I have an old faded, and dog-eared, copy of Phaidon’s The Garden Book (published in 2010) that I’ve poured over for years, dreaming about visiting the 500 gardens profiled within.
A scan of my very abused copy of The Garden Book
 
If that book is a porthole into the world of garden travel then this, The Gardener’s Garden, is a picture window...
The Gardener’s Garden, $79.95 / £49.95 / €65, Phaidon 2014,
www.phaidon.com
 
The old book measures just 5” x 6.5” and each garden or gardener had only a page and a single photo. Here, on the left, is the one on William Hertrich, the man behind the Desert Garden at the Huntington.
Another scan from my copy of The Garden Book
 
The Gardener’s Garden measures 11” x 13” and each garden gets multiple photographs and a 1, 2, or even 4 page spread. This is just one of the many sumptuous photos of the Huntington in the new book…
Huntington Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California, USA, Henry Huntington, William Hertrich, 20th century
photo credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com
 
And just part of the Sissinghurst layout, the photos are so rich (and so large) you almost feel like you're in the garden …
Sissinghurst Castle Garden Sissinghurst, near Cranbrook, Kent, UK, Harold Nicolson,
Vita Sackville-West, 20th century
photo credit: © National Trust Images / Jonathan Buckley, 9 Marcus Harpur / Harpur Garden Images
 
Perhaps a better comparison between the two books would be that of a 12” black and white television and a 48” HDTV? We truly are living in a golden age for color photographs and printing.
Australian Garden Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia,
Taylor Cullity Lethlean Landscape Architects with Paul Thompson, 20th–21st century
photo credit: John Gollings
 
The book covers gardens throughout “5 continents and 45 countries” and features gardens in every conceivable style and climate. It is organized geographically by country within continents and working roughly northwest to southeast through the country. At the end of the book there’s a handy Glossary, a list of Garden Festivals and Shows, Societies, Further Reading (more books!) and Useful Websites.
Le Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech, Morocco, Jacques Majorelle, 20th century
photo credit: 1 Michele Falzone / JAI/Corbis, 2 Gilles Le Scanff & Jöelle-Caroline Mayer,
3 Huw Jones / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images, 4 Michele Falzone / JAI/Corbis,
5 Andrea Thompson Photography / Photolibrary / Getty Images,
6 Gilles Le Scanff & Jöelle-Caroline Mayer/GAP Photos 
 
The one criticism I have of the book is that it’s sometimes hard to tell, when reading the garden profile, if it’s a public or private garden. I'm not sure it would matter to most people but I was curious.
Lotusland, Santa Barbara, California, USA, Madame Ganna Walska and others, 20th century
photo credit: Claire Takacs
 
The PR information that accompanied the book claims “Each year more than 78 million people visit public gardens in the United States, demonstrating that gardens have become a major travel destination for an expansive audience.” Reading through the book, which by the way is a weighty tome – not one you’ll be reading in bed – I found myself thrilled by the possibilities. To know there are all of these amazing gardens out there in the world to see, well it’s inspiring.
Pearl Fryer Garden, Bishopville, South Carolina, Pearl Fryer, 20th-21st century
photo credit: Dustin Shores Photography
 
No doubt the release of the book is timed to coincide with the upcoming gift-giving season. I’m sure any gardener would be thrilled to receive The Gardener’s Garden. The opportunity to spend a cold, dreary, day in January visiting gardens around the world (if only on the printed page) is a very welcome idea, I'm sure you agree. On that note...I’m off to dream…
Prospect Cottage, Dungeness, Kent, UK, Derek Jarman, 20th century
photo credit: Prospect Cottage, Dungeness, Kent, UK, Derek Jarman, 20th century
 
The fine print: I received a review copy of The Gardener's Garden from Phaidon with no obligation to write about it. All opinions are mine. Photos are credited as noted. All written material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

30 comments:

  1. Another great book to put on my wish list!

    I've been thinking about your comment the other day on my blog about my seasonal grumpiness. I've never noticed a correlation before between that and the onset of frost, but I'm thinking now that cold frosty weather is a big part of it. We do seem to be hit by frost just before the holidays, and knowing that it is going to ruin so much of what's still growing out there is such a bummer.

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    1. I know it plays with my mood Alison, so I figured it might for you. I guess I'm lucky though in that I love the holidays so they help to get me through. January though, it's the worst month for me. I think I'll save reading about the rest of the gardens in this book until then...

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  2. This is certainly a book to curl up with in front of the fire on a winter's day. I have been fortunate to visit a couple of the gardens you mention and they are as magnificent in real life as those photographs show. Thanks for the review.

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    1. You're my garden travel hero Jenny, seriously.

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  3. Gorgeous! Another item for my Xmas wish list.

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    1. Indeed! Andrew was almost as excited as I was looking through the pages. It's a great book for travel buffs as well as garden lovers.

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  4. Just gorgeous my friend - you made my day with all those beautiful photos. :-)

    Shawna

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    1. Glad you enjoyed them, Phaidon was generous with the photos for this post!

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  5. Yay for new books to read! Love it.

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  6. Ah, something else for my Xmas list...Maybe I can use it to encourage my husband to plan some garden-centric trips too.

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    1. Le Jardin Majorelle here you come?

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  7. Looks like a dreamy book full of beautiful pictures of great gardens! Just the thing to get us all through January!

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  8. This looks like the perfect book to add to my Christmas list! I love looking at garden pictures almost as much as I like seeing them in person : )
    I can feel ya'lls pain and winter blues. It was in the low 30s last night and tonight going to below...then warming up and raining and down to the low 30's again next week. Very early and very cold for Houston! My kitchen is full of plants from the porch : )

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  9. Oh my! This book has just rocketed straight up on my Christmas wishlist! We all need inspiring things to look at in the depths of winter and this will definitely fill in the need nicely.

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  10. Santa might as well pack one of these for every gardener on his route.

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  11. Now I wish I wasn't on the "naughty" list this year! :(

    My new coffee table (made from the tree) is small, but 11"x13" will easily fit on it!

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    1. But Alan if you start working on it now surely in a months time you can crawl back over to the "nice" list?

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  12. Looks like a great book. I should try for a few more books that focus on gardens as a whole, not just the plants that go into it.

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  13. I'll be adding this one to my Xmas list as well. Thanks for the review.

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  14. This looks like a great book!

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  15. Some beautiful gardens/photos there. The ones from Morocco were SO striking! Love it.

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  16. loved your review, Loree. Well done! I feel bad about the piles of unread books everywhere here, but this one would go to the top of the pile!

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    1. It was nice that I had an excuse to dive right into it, ignoring the others.

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  17. Read your review yesterday. Ordered it from Amazon. Arrived this morning at 10:30 am. Howzat for service? Everything you said is true. I want to add a few comments: it's heavy, (weighty, you said) yes, it needs to be laid on a table, too heavy for one's lap; generally there is a large overall photo with smaller ones showing details, these smaller one are sometimes a bit blurry, but the details give one lots of ideas, the cover is cloth with a raised relief branch that is much fun to pet. It'll last me through quite a few evenings browsing. Thank you for the review.

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    1. That's amazing! You must be a prime member? I appreciate your additional comments! I have actually been reading it on my lap, but since I am used to having a 23 lb dog on my lap the book is actually easier, it doesn't squirm! (although it's not as soft) And I hadn't noticed the blurry small photos but my eyesight sucks anymore so I guess that's not surprising...

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    2. Free shipping over $35! It was $48.75.

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  18. Wow, lucky you to get a copy! It looks like the photographer(s) for the book did a wonderful job, and from your review, it sounds like the text was helpful or interesting, too?

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    1. It is! Dumb me. I was writing this post while this (http://dangergarden.blogspot.com/2014/11/disaster-adverted.html - the repair) was going on, I totally spaced mentioning how wonderful the text is!

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