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Waratah or wattle? Chrysanthemum or rose? Planting Dreams celebrates the artistry and imagination that have shaped Australian gardens. Respected garden historian Richard Aitken explores the environmental and social influences that have helped produce our unique gardening culture – from Indigenous land management and the earliest European garden at Farm Cove, to the potted plants and besser block screens of mid-twentieth century modernist design and beyond.
Drawing on the unparalleled collections of the State Library of New South Wales, Planting Dreams showcases Australian garden making in all its richness and diversity through a stunning and intriguing mix of paintings, sketches, photographs, and prints, from popular culture to high art.
Richard Aitken is recognised internationally for his expertise in the field of garden history. He has been a long-time editor of Australian Garden History, the quarterly journal of the Australian Garden History Society, and his books include The Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens (2002), Gardenesque (2004), Botanical Riches (2006), Seeds of Change (2006), The Garden of Ideas (2010), and Cultivating Modernism (2013). Aitken has curated several major exhibitions and undertaken numerous conservation plans for significant gardens throughout Australia, including government house gardens in Sydney, Melbourne, and Hobart; botanic gardens in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and regional Victoria; and many other public and private gardens.
"An elegant look at the miraculous gardening evolution"
– Indira Naidoo, author of The Edible Balcony