21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
a volume to be savored and returned to again and again,
This review is from: In Search of Paradise: Great Gardens of the World (Hardcover)
The ideal garden we are given to understand is a paradise - "a haven of comfort, abundance, and beauty." Many of us try to achieve that paradigm in our own way, as have countless others before us. Now gathered in one gorgeous volume are the results of those endeavors gleaned from diverse cultures and climes.
We begin our armchair tour with "Gardens Through the Centuries," a journey covering four thousand years beginning with the earliest gardens alive in the deserts of the Middle East. The first Mughal Emperor Babur (1483 - 1530) had a number of gardens including the Garden of Fidelity which was divided into four parts with a central pool.
Of course, the gardens designed in China and Japan expressed a respect for nature, evidenced in vast areas where the placement of each stone had meaning. Places for contemplation, stroll and moss gardens were found in Japan.
For this reader what can compare with the gardens of Italy? Hadrian's Villa near Tivoli boasts open porticoes, enclosed atriums, fountains, basins, statuary. It is a wonder. La Mortola on the Italian Riviera is a place for dreaming with a steep slope to the sea rich in agaves, aloes, white roses, salvias and citrus trees. A virtual Eden on earth.
Ms. Hobhouse continues our tour with a look at modern garden design as represented by such designers as Roberto Burle Marx, Fernando Caruncho, and Beth Chatto.
"In Search of Paradise" holds 240 pages and 200 illustrations all in glorious color contributed by the world's foremost garden photographers.
The is a volume to be savored and returned to again and again.
- Gail Cooke