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Around The World In 80 Gardens [Hardcover]

Monty Don , Montagu Don
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Jan 2008
'If I have learned only one thing from my travels around the world it is that no garden is an island. Context is everything.' Monty Don visits each continent in this landmark series on gardens of the world. We are introduced to the unique floating gardens of the Amazon and the colourful alpine flower meadows of Norway, modest domestic gardens in Havana and Bali, Monet's world-famous Giverny and the Dutch tour-de-force Het Loo, the formal magnificence of Renaissance Italian water gardens, the tropical planting traditions of Thailand, and the intriguing fusion of indigenous and colonial garden cultures in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Each garden is placed in context, horticultural preconceptions are abandoned and Monty is constantly surprised by the unexpected locations where gardens thrive. A vivid account of travel, adventure, beauty and the pursuit of knowledge.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (25 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297844504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297844501
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 18.9 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Monty Don is the main presenter of BBC-TV's Gardener's World. He is one of the UK's most respected gardeners and gardening writers. He has been gardening correspondent for the Observer since 1994 and is at the forefront of the environmental and organic gardening debate.

Product Description


'His style is light, smooth and accessible, yet also sensitive, detailed and generally historically reliable... this is a good read with plenty of novelty.' (Tim Richardson GARDENS ILLUSTRATED)

'intelligently written and he puts each garden in context in a way that is both accessible, yet thought provoking.' (GARDENS MONTHLY)

'It's an absorbing journey made far more appealing than your average garden guide thanks largely to the author's readiness to question and explore.' (GARDEN NEWS)

'Who better to guide us on this journey than the nation's most thoughtful horticulturalist...?' (Stephanie Donaldson COUNTRY LIVING)

'Don is a curious and engaging guide, as thrilled by the ad hoc floating vegetable plots of the Amazon as by formal Zen gardens...' (THE INDEPENDENT)

'a personal and fascinating insight into gardens around the world.' (GARDEN ANSWERS)

'This colourful account by the travelling garden connoisseur covers the most emotive and awe-inspiring gardens worldwide.' (GRAND DESIGNS)

'Each garden is described in intimate, vivid detail, with diary-style immediacy... the gardens come alive through Don's very personal responses to them.' (ORGANIC GARDENING)

Book Description

Monty Don's incredible journey searching for the world's 80 most inspirational gardens. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 70 people found the following review helpful
This is a substantial book, I only wish it had been even more so. There's enough text about each garden to make it interesting even if you are fairly knowledgable already; the balance of information and opinion is nicely judged. At ten pounds, it's an absolute bargain. I would have given three times that though for a bigger budget devoted to the photographs. Don't get me wrong, they're all right - they give you a good idea of each garden. All I'm saying is: buy the book for the words, not the images. It isn't coffee table material (I can't believe I'm saying this as though it were a problem!) Of course the answer is to record the television programmes for the visual element. This is the only one of MD's books from which the pictures don't sink into the mind as much as the words (ignoring the ones that have none). But gardens are to be looked at; books do outlast other media; it was an opportunity lost. It only matters because the prose is worth it: informed, honest, reflective, as though he had written it as notes for you. If nothing else it will make you realise that any garden vist you make yourself, your own interest and pleasure the only agenda and in no tearing television-imposed hurry, would be more enjoyable because of this book.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - but ! 2 Feb 2008
I love Monty Don's writing, as the previous review states in his comments - 'it feel's personal' and you get a really good feel of what he is seeing on his tour of the gardens. The details of his note taking etc. make it a more enjoyable read than a book that is just factual. I felt that you were getting an honest review of how he felt at the time of writing and being human enough to comment on how he might feel differently at other times of visiting some of them. My disapointment came from the appearance of the book and wish that they had kept more to the look of 'The Jewel Garden' which captured me straight away from the beautiful photography on the front cover and the pics inside. If there had been more photographs to show what Monty is describing in "Around the world in 80 Gardens' it may have benefited from it, but I think this has been the publishers at fault rather than Monty Don. I must admit I hated the cover design if I had been the Co. who had produced it I don't think I would have put my website on the inside flap. Well done to Montague though, and long may he continue writing in this engaging manner.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great ambassador for the gardening world 9 Aug 2008
We had Percy Thrower, for those that can recall him, then along came Alan, almost a Percy Thrower. And now we have Monty ... a veritable Percy Thrower in the making. He gives a grat book here that makes no claims of sending the reader to gardening euphoria. What it does do is take a look at some great gardens and gives us what we want to know, anything more is a bonus, which this surely is. Worship him while you have him, lest Alan comes back.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An exciting concept that fails to deliver 21 Dec 2008
By Wiltshire Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I've always preferred Monty Don's writing to his television appearances, so I was expecting the book to be better than the TV series of the same name. However, I was disappointed. Of course we'll always have a different view of which gardens should form the 80, but rather than 'selling' the gardens to me which I didn't know already, I found myself not really caring. This was mainly due to the shortage of photographs to illustrate the points made in the text. Perhaps the budget didn't allow for more and the book's producers were expecting us to fill-in with our own memories from the TV programme, but memories fade and reminders are needed.

I obtained my copy through subscribing to a well-known gardening magazine. How glad I did, because I would have felt short-changed if I'd bought the book.

And did anyone else notice there are 82 gardens described, not 80?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable collection of essays... 11 Oct 2010
Really enjoyable collection of essays on some of the most interesting and notable gardens around the world. Travelling far and wide to the less obvious locations as well as some of the more obvious destinations. There will of course never be a definitive 'best' 80 garde...ns, and every reader will doubtless have some places they would have liked to see included (personally my choices might have included some bustans, monasteries or shrines of the Middle East. Plus maybe an island or two in some of the more unique botanical locations) , but Monty does his best to explain why each site is chosen, and what they mean to him.

Written in a close and very personable style, the author's charisma comes across as well as it does on screen. It reads as a very good travelogue as much as a book on gardening or horticulture. Lavishly illustrated with good photographs, it would make a great gift for anyone interested in garden history and/or travel. My only criticism of it is that there could have been included some general and more specific location maps, for both aesthetic and practical reasons.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 30 April 2008
I bought this book after being captivated by the images in the first programme in the TV series. But I was deeply disappointed to find that there are very few photographs of the stunning gardens, and most of these contain Monty! I'm a big fan of Monty but would have preferred to see the gardens without him. The writing is good, but as I bought it (unseen) for the photos I wish I had borrowed it from the library first.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting book
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, having seen bits of the TV series I thought it might just rehash what I had seen. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Carys Anne
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent - interesting book accompanying the TV series
An excellent & interesting book, bought as a gift, to accompany the DVD of the TV series. Mont Don is an enthusiastic story-teller about his visits to the gardens!
Published 12 months ago by Pocklington reviewer
4.0 out of 5 stars A perfect accompaniment.
This book fits perfectly with the DVD. I read Monty's notes after I have looked at the film of each group of gardens.
Very satisfying.
Published 17 months ago by Liz
5.0 out of 5 stars Monty Don's Success in Canada: Around the World in 80 Gardens
I bought a paperback copy to send to a schoolfriend who lives on Vancouver Island, where Monty Don is not known. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Anne Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
I bought this as a present for my parents, along with the DVDs. They loved them, we loved them and so did our children (aged 9 and 12). Read more
Published 24 months ago by Mme Stephanie Meric
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I expected a paperback version of the hardback edition. I was very disappointed to find that it was a fiction-sized paperback with virtually no pictures. Read more
Published on 13 Jan 2012 by P. Hulmes
5.0 out of 5 stars Very inspiring, great fun!
5 out of 5! Very inspiring, very well made and filmed. I had to watch it several times, and still will. Many different gardens, giving me many new ideas. Highly recommended!
Published on 13 Dec 2011 by Bravo Hotel Sierra
4.0 out of 5 stars Can we have an extended edition please?
I have just borrowed this from the library. I found it an interesting and easy-to-read book and the short 'chapters' on each garden are great for busy gardeners on a tea break, as... Read more
Published on 12 Aug 2008 by P. R. Scott
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to the standards of the TV programme it is based on
I'm an admirer of Monty Don and I enjoyed the TV series this book is based on. But the book is far too sketchy to be satisfying; there's simply not enough material here, not... Read more
Published on 18 Jun 2008 by MaxC
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