584 pages, 96 col plates, 45 historical engravings
This sumptuous new Oxford Companion is devoted to gardens of every kind and the people and ideas involved in their making, in every part of the world where the designed landscape has played an important part.
Its broad sweep makes this the perfect reference for garden-lovers everywhere. It combines a survey of the world's gardens, biographies of garden designers, nurserymen, and others, and entries on the worlds of horticulture and plantsmanship, with articles on a range of topics from garden visiting to garden elements and styles, and from scientific issues to the social history of gardens.
The Companion provides comprehensive coverage in 1750 alphabetical entries, detailing all aspects of the garden from the ancient to the avant garde. The writing is authoritative and engaging, with careful attention paid to the correct naming of plants, and a central aim of giving a vivid impression of what it is like to be in these inspirational gardens. There are sumptuous colour photographs by some of the world's best garden photographers, and elegant engravings of historical subjects. Well over half of the entries are devoted to individual gardens, many of them open to the public.These include every kind of garden from palace gardens such as Versailles to private gardens of outstanding design or plant interest, public gardens, botanic gardens and arboreta, late 20th-century land art, and contemporary gardens everywhere. Central to the book are the garden cultures of Italy, Britain, France, China, Japan, and the USA - unquestionably the most significant in the world - but the geographical coverage is worldwide, including such far-flung regions as Turkey, Peru, and Bali. The Companion draws on some of the expertise from The Oxford Companion to Garden s (1986) - in particular the late Maggie Keswick's groundbreaking writing on Chinese gardens.
An invaluable research tool for garden designers and historians, it is also beautifully written - a delight to the garden amateur and armchair browser. This book is exquisitely produced and its entries are generally a joy to read - academic but accessible, they point the scholar to other sources while satisfying the amateur. Anybody with an interest in design, gardening, social history or simply good, informative writing should secure a copy. Katie Campbell, Hortus 'At more than 500 pages and some 170 contributors strong, his Oxford Companion to the Garden puts down a monumental marker...The 1986 Companion made a case for viewing gardens as we might art or literature. This volume accepts that the case is proven. THe result is far richer in detail and scholaship, and altogether more pleasurable to read...highly original, gileld with iconographic and textual treasures from which the authors make brilliant deductions...This is a high powered Companion indeed...So this is lively and erudite company not only for anyone actively interested in the garden in all its guises, but also for those whose love of civilisation does not quite extend to the dirtying of fingernails...triumphant new volume' Mark Griffiths, Times 'I have just spent the better part of three days surfing this sumptuous volume and can't say that I regret it in the least. It was delightful...a staggering piece of work...His descriptions are invariably first-rate, comprehensive, sensitive to history and evocative.' Charles Elliott, Literary Review Once open its hard to put down... Everything you ever wanted to know about gardens, gardeners and gardening. Its scope is truly global... Not a cheap book, nor a light one at 2.5 kg, but the quantity of excellent garden writing per pound is probably unequalled. Excellent bedside reading for garden- lovers everywhere. Ken Thompson, The Professional Gardener 'Authoritative, readable and infinitely dip-into-able, this reference work will be on the shelves of everybody with a serious and informed interest in gardens, for many years to come' Kathryn Bradley-Hole, Country Life A readable picture of world gardens. Excellent for anyone seeking out gardens abroad. Stephen Anderton, The Times
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