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By: Roy Strong
272 pages, Col photos throughout
The story of the largest formal garden to be created in the UK since 1945 (with the possible exception of Alnwick). The author (and creator), is one of Britain's foremost cultural historians.
Ascerbic commentator, strongly opinionated and owner of a very dry, contagious wit, no matter what ones thoughts are of Roy Strong and his wife Julia, together they have created one of the most important and stunning gardens of the last one hundred years. Based on the old, formal style of gardening, the two and a bit acres of The Laskett nestle in the Hertfordshire countryside as if it they had always been there. Both Sir Roy and his wife, the designer Julia Trevelyan Oman, have spent their lives in the heart of the British art world and their talents in garden design reflect this. Strong foundations and innovative, often quirky features transform the garden from a straight Victorian replica to something personal, transcending mere "garden" and becoming a symbol of their partnership and marriage. Amusingly written in Strong's inimitable style, it is a fascinating insight into the making of this Eden. With assistance, advice and encouragement from horticultural luminaries such as Rosemary Verey and Sir Geoffrey Jellico, Sir Roy has also developed his gardening passion into a career. Now renowned for his books on the subject, he has also advised on gardens as prestigious as Highgrove and that of Sir Elton John. Not everyone's cup of tea, this is still an intriguing glimpse into the birth and development of one of England's great gardens and the lives of its eccentric owners. - Lucy Watson
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