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The Contemporary Garden [Hardcover]

Phaidon Press Ltd , TM Garden Solutions
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.95
Price: 12.57 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 Mar 2009

An illustrated survey of 100 modern and contemporary gardens from all over the world, arranged in chronological order for a general readership. The selection includes non-traditional gardens by leading practitioners from the early 1920s onwards and includes the very latest creations by today’s designers. Each entry features a full-page image and a concise text detailing the garden’s historical and stylistic importance and that of its designer or maker.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (17 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714849588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714849584
  • Product Dimensions: 29.2 x 25.1 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'Exceptionally priced and beautifully shot, an illustrated survey of 100 contemporary gardens from the early 1920s to now - an obvious labour of love. The price alone should propel this exceptional book into the charts.'
The Bookseller

'a new sourcebook of ideas that cannot fail to inspire lovers of garden design. ... While the gardens have all had their share of controversy and criticism, the book encourages us to understand the role they have had in influencing more mainstream design.'
Homes & Gardens



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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect for what I do. 20 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Delivered in quick time, perfect condition, just the book I needed to complete my project. I will use them again without a second thought!
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1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 9 Sep 2010
Format:Hardcover
EXELENT JOB.
THE BOOK IS MADE IT FOR MANY PEOPLE.
I LIKE TOO MUCH THE PHOTO QUALLITY INCLUDING THE ILLUSTRATE PAPER.
IS AN ART FOR MY LIBRARY
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Garden as Modern Art 17 May 2009
By allanbecker-gardenguru - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The editors of Phaidon Press continue to impress me. They make rigorous work seem easy. In their latest publication The Contemporary Garden, they tackle an encyclopedic amount of material [as they did with The English Garden] and distill it into an easy-to-read picture essay. In this instance the essay is about the evolution of the contemporary garden from the early 1920's up until today.

As some readers have discovered, a garden does not always refer to a front or back lawn with beautiful flowers. Often, it is a substantial expanse of land surrounding either a residential dwelling or a public building. The type of landscape treatment used for these spaces usually reflects the aesthetic philosophy of the artist, architect or landscape architect responsible for designing it. That style may reflect trends in modernity. From that perspective, this book offers an historical summary of the modern movement in arts, sculpture and architecture as interpreted in landscape design.

The book covers many of the seminal contemporary gardens, including ones by sculptor Constantin Brancusi, landscape architect Shunmyo Masuno, architect Frank Gherry and garden designer Piet Oudolf. Among the one hundred gardens presented in this book, two stand out for this reviewer. The first is the waterfall grotto located beneath the Frank Lloyd Wright home "Falling Waters" in Pennsylvania, USA. Mr. Wright chose to leave nature untouched by positioning that home directly over a waterfall. The second is the outdoor installation designed by landscape architect Claude Cormier titled "Blue Stick Garden". Originally created in Canada for the Metis International Garden Festival, it moved to Hestercombe Gardens in Somerset U.K. where it gained additional fame for its audacity and vibrancy.

This is a provocative book for perennial gardeners. By our nature, we tend to be traditional in our outlook. Consequently, an ultra modern garden is not always a pleasant place for us. This book reminds us that without modernity and modern building materials, contemporary artists could not be true to their times. While the modernity of some gardens may leave us wanting, at least we now can appreciate the context in which they were created. This has been an exhilarating book to read and even more exciting to review.
Read more of my reviews at Bookpleasures.com
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 photo wonder 6 Mar 2012
By Jerry Beale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Each garden has only 1 photo. There is no way that 1 photo can adequately describe a garden. Very disappointed in the content of this book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Do they make Dover editions??? 25 May 2012
By o-namae desu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an OK bunch of pictures, but limited views and a little pricey. I should have read the description above more carefully: You get a *survey* of 100 gardens, with 1 photo and 1 paragraph of each. (Notice the page count: 112.) It's recycling, too: this is an "abridged, revised, and updated edition" of Phaidon's "The Garden Book" published in 2000 (512 pages). So they took out the non-contemporary gardens, and this is what was left? It's dissatisfying: There are lots of places that you could find a decent magazine article on and get a better look, e.g. Fallingwater (Wright), Villa Mairea (Aalto), Larry Ellison's first house (Ron Herman), Villa Savoye (Corbusier), 1929 Barcelona German Pavillion (Mies), Rockefeller Center roof, Brion-Vega Tomb (Scarpa), Barragán's San Cristobal, Miró's Labyrinth, the MoMA Sculpture Garden (Johnson). The postcard view of the falls underneath Fallingwater does not a garden make. Worse, many of the photos are of a single element, e.g. the photo of the *tip* of a Luis Barragán waterspout with very little context (OK, there's a horse...). The full photo of the Ellison House planter is barely more revealing than the detail shown on the cover. There's even a shot of IBM's Solana, TX building: just a dead-end alleé and nothing else -- out of 850 acres! It's as if some editor took stock photos and cropped them to "make 'em more dynamic". Maybe all the photos were public domain or free as promotion pieces to start, making for an inexpensive publication? It's like a Dover edition! On the plus side: Half of the pictures are not public places, so you couldn't get to see them, unlike the silly examples above; even so, they have *probably* been published elsewhere. Also the chronological arrangement gives you a sense of evolution from front to back. But I regret spending a Jackson to get this rehash: Phaidon should ditch "The Phaidon Editors" and hire photographers instead, to do original work. Here's what this book is good for: as a reminder list of gardens you mean to actually visit, or look up a "real" publication to see and read about the garden properly.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it 18 Jan 2013
By Lilian Maria de Oliveira Carneiro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not as amazing as expected. I wish it had more projects with more details and more interesting photos or even interesting projects. It was good, but not memorable. Can remember even one really good.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Photo Book 26 July 2011
By TN Colby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It was a pretty good book but a bit lacking in the descriptions of the gardens. I now realize it's primarily a coffee table book with pretty photographs. If I had it to do all over.... I would probably just check it out from a library.
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