Diarmuid Gavin came to popular attention as the gardening half of the design team in the television series Home Front
, with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (Ginger to Gavin's Fred). Home Front in the Garden
sees him on his own, showcasing his striking architectural garden fantasies. It would be safe to say that these tend to the extravagant end of the garden spectrum, a long way from the flower-filled paradises of Vita Sackville-West or Rosemary Verey. Gavin confesses to being inspired by, among other influences, the sets of old Star Trek episodes. This is postmodernist gardening with a vengeance. A long, narrow garden is transversely divided by a huge steel shark's fin; a serpentine hill, studded with lights, extends the length of another space, ending in a mound that conceals a cave; a glass cube room hovers above a pool surrounded by a rainforest garden of ferns and other flowerless exotics. Gavin provides a comprehensive outline of the principles underlying his approach and explores in some depth the properties of the materials, some of them new, some merely new to the garden, which allow him to express with such vividness the personalities and lifestyles of his patrons. Nor does he neglect plants. A number of detailed case-studies show his ideas and theories at work. This is powerfully inspirational gardening, though definitely not for the nervous. --Robin Davidson
From the Author
A garden doesn't have to have wild or unexpected twists to excite me. Planting is foremost ¡V whether set out by a designer or arrived at over years in a haphazard manner. I've been learning about gardening for a long time and that journey has led me through a period of creating a variety of styles. Some have been beautiful, some have been bland. The lack of a market for the more progressive ideas led to a personal stagnation for some years and it is only now thorough Home Front in the Garden that I feel that I am back learning. It has been a fascinating experience exploring the use of some new materials, colours and plants in a more subtle and yet challenging way, a combination of suburban, traditional and modern. It is these ideas together with my passion for plants that I bring to you in this book.