Reflecting on “Gardens”.

Spring is a great time for making plans, the longer hours of light energise, our gardens begin to come to life and perhaps it’s time to plan some garden visits.

So I’ve been delighted with a very well-timed new book, “Gardens”, brimful of inspiration from gardens across the world.

The lovely natural setting of Powerscourt, Ireland, features in the book. Photo : Powerscourt Estate

The lovely natural setting of Powerscourt, Ireland, features in the book.
Photo : Powerscourt Estate

The book is part of Roads Publishing’s Reflections series which “is a visual exploration of the spaces that mirror the cultures in which they play such a crucial part”.

In ‘Gardens’, one experiences the extraordinary diversity of gardens across the world, each one influenced by its cultural context, climate, dreams or eccentricities of its creators.

There’s the celebrated gardens which one would expect in such a book – the manicured perfection of Het Loo or Versailles, the romance of Giverny or Bodnant, the Spring vibrancy of Keukenhof or Hermannhof.

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Schau- und Sichtungsgarten Hermannhof, Germany. The Wisteria Walk, with Wisteria macrobotrys and Wisteria sinensis. Photo : Jerry Harpur

 But the scope of this book is neither predictable nor Eurocentric.

Namba Parks, Osaka. The rooftop park connects to the street, eight levels below. Photo : Jerde

Namba Parks, Osaka.
The rooftop park connects to the street, eight levels below. Photo : Jerde

Extraordinary urban projects such as Osaka’s rooftop Namba Parks or New York’s aerial greenway, the High Line, illustrate contemporary large-scale urban interjections, providing inspiration for how we should be thinking  about our shared green spaces.

Namba Parks, Osaka, Japan. Photo : Jerde.

Namba Parks, Osaka, Japan.
Photo : Jerde.

There are gardens from Canada, Korea, Kashmir in India and Kirstenbosch in South Africa, amongst many others. Some familiar to me but it was lovely to discover fresh inspiration.

The book is stunning – visually stimulating but also thought-provoking, a welcome attribute in a garden book.

Reflections : Gardens. Roads Publishing

Reflections : Gardens.
Roads Publishing

 

Francis Bacon, writing in 1625, said, Gardening “is the greatest of human pleasures”.

I believe the hours spent with this book would count as another of those human pleasures.

And be prepared to plan some garden visits as a result.

Reflections : Gardens    Available at Roads Publishing. 

 

16 thoughts on “Reflecting on “Gardens”.

    • There are so many gardens I’d love to see too and the book added even more. Still, armchair visits will suffice! I would love to see the Wisteria in full bloom … but at 6am when noone is there..

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes, that combination of wisterias is very dramatic. I’m surprised they are both in flower at the same time because here in East Anglia the sinensis is quite often significantly earlier. How inspiring the urban garden of Osaka is, stunning, – looks like a great book to have.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Agnes – thought I’d look up the Wisteria varieties for you.
    I really like the book because of the range of gardens, from roof gardens in Chicago to the Lost Gardens of Heligan.There is little text but the pictures are fascinating.

    Like

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