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