But even the most peaceful of gardens also take passion and hard work to create. This new book takes a fresh look at the English country house garden, starting with the owners and the stories behind the making of the gardens. Glorious photographs capture the gardens at their finest moments through the seasons, and a sparkling and erudite text presents twenty-five gardens - some grand, some personal, some celebrated, some never-before-photographed - to explore why this garden style has been so very enduring and influential.
From the Victorian grandeur of Tyntesfield and Cragside, to the Arts & Crafts simplicity of Rodmarton Manor and Charleston; from Scampston, in the same family since the 17th century, to new gardens by Dan Pearson and Tom Stuart-Smith; and with favourites such as Hidcote and Great Dixter alongside new discoveries, this book will be a delicious treat for garden-lovers.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-09-01
- Reviewer: Staff
This stunning visual feast, with photographs by Marcus Harpur, not only highlights 25 of Britain’s signature country house gardens, but also explores the themes that tie them together. Plumptre (Royal Gardens of Europe), a former gardening correspondent for the Times of London, explains the book’s purpose: to “present a ‘whole’ that is more than just the ‘sum of the parts’—parts that are individually attractive but usually presented in isolation, not bound together to present a story.” In his appreciative analysis, Plumptre answers the question: “Why does the country house continue to be the apex of a designer’s aspiration, rather than the small garden in the park?” He traces the key features of basic garden design—the relationship of the garden to the house, the surrounding landscape, detailed planting arrangements, and the human element—highlighting various estates, the personalities who once built them, and those who now sustain them. The role of the garden quickly emerges as a central theme in the history of English country houses, evoking a sensibility that reaches beyond the prescribed care of the elements and asserts that the country house garden is magical. (Oct.)