'The heart of the book contains strong, precise description and thoughtful analysis. Martyn guides us with ease around the great gardens, explaining the ideas behind them, their planning and geometry, hydraulics and planting, alluding in passing to the works of Spenser and Sidney as well as Hill's 'Gardener's Labyrinth' and Gerard's 'Herbal' ... an elegantly produced book.' --Jenny Uglow, Sunday Telegraph
'Martyn's book is useful in highlighting the importance of the garden in the Elizabethan imagination. It's also timely, with plans afoot to trace the remains of the long-destroyed Theobalds, and a project to recreate Leicester's garden at Kenilworth now well under way ... fantastical details of the gardens themselves - rosemary leaves covered in gold leaf catch the light, visitors rowed through a shady labyrinth of canals - intrigue every inch of the way.' --Sarah Gristwood, BBC History Magazine
'Trea Martyn's descriptions of gardens ... are excellent, and she carries her knowledge lightly. In evocative and lively prose she leads the reader along immaculately raked sand paths, past rosemary bushes (every needle covered with gold leaf), and into Cecil's mansion, where the columns of the great chamber were modelled as such realistic oak trees that birds flew indoors to sit on the branches.' --Andrea Wulf, Guardian
'Trea Martyn's descriptions of gardens ... are excellent, and she carries her knowledge lightly.'