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European Gardens have flourished for over 2,000 years and provided the greatest single influence upon gardening throughout the world.
In this authoritative guide to the gardens of Europe, Charles Quest-Ritson has produced a comprehensive survey, ranging from Ireland to Georgia and from Russia to Sicily. It embraces the vast sweep of Europe's horticultural and garden design heritage - a guide to all the best and most exciting gardens, both public and private, that are open to visitors - making this a reference source without peer.
This book describes all types of gardens, including ancient Roman remnants in Italy, Moorish gardens in Spain, tiled gardens in Portugal, baroque masterpieces and English-style landscape gardens throughout the continent, the giardini segreti of renaissance Italy, English flower gardens and woodland gardens, great botanic gardens of Germany and Scandinavia, arboreta of northern Europe, high-level alpine gardens in Switzerland and cutting-edge contemporary gardens in France and the Low Countries.
"Gardens of Europe" contains over 600 gardens and includes an invaluable "Plant Collections Guide" and a shortlist of Europe's greatest gardens for quick reference. Garden location, opening hours, and contact and other details are supplemented by more than 500 colour photographs (mostly taken by the author), location maps and descriptions of the unique flavour and history of each garden. This book will fascinate and delight travellers, scholars and garden lovers everywhere.
Charles Quest-Ritson is an internationally acclaimed garden writer with particular expertise in European gardens, history and culture. He is also a well-known rosarian, lecturer and translator, fluent in five languages. His previous books include: The English Garden Abroad (Viking, 1992); Gardens of Germany (Mitchell Beazley, 1998); The House & Gardens Book of Country Gardens (Ebury Press, 1998); and The English Garden: A Social History (Viking, 2001). In 2006 the Italian translation of The RHS Encyclopaedia of Roses (Dorling Kindersley, 2003) won the Grinzane Cavour prize. He is also editor of the RHS Garden Finder, which is the leading guide to gardens of the British Isles, published annually by the Royal Horticultural Society in London. Charles Quest-Ritson lives in southern England near the cathedral city of Salisbury and works in partnership with his wife, Brigid.
Penelope Hobhouse has written the foreword and edited the entire text for this book. She is perhaps the world's best known garden writer, designer, garden historian, lecturer and gardener. She has a deep and abiding interest in European gardens and their historical evolution and, with Patrick Taylor, co-authored the pioneering The Gardens of Europe in 1990.
The Gardens of Europe is a thoroughly practical guide book and offers opportunities to visit relatively unsung gardens in relatively obscure gardening territories without ignoring the grander sweeps of history and the iconic gardens that set the trends of their day. It has everything to recommend it. - Penelope Hobhouse