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, |
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.
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.