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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Around the world in 240 pages!, 24 Nov 2007
This review is from: In Search of Paradise: Great Gardens of the World (Hardcover)
Gardens are meant to be paradise on earth. The idea of paradise as a garden has a long history, even before the Garden of Eden was presented in the Bible. What the paradise looks like, there is hardly specific description. The description of the Garden of Eden was not very specific either, yet it gave the garden designer some ideas.

In every culture, garden designers seek paradise through their own creative ways. Penelope Hobhouse, one of the most talented garden writers of our time, started her tour of paradise on earth in Asia: the serene naturalistic gardens and symbolism in China, and the Zen gardens and tea gardens in Japan. She then took us to continental Europe: the hilly regions of Italy where lavish gardens are balanced with the use of axes and symmetry, and gardens in Germany, Netherlands and Russia, as well as the climax of formal gardens, the French gardens.

Penelope Hobhouse's next stop is England. She discussed in detail the naturalistic Landscape Gardens, the Cottage-style Gardens, and the Eclectic Gardens. She also explored Mediterranean gardens and gardens in America: European influences and naturalistic gardens.

Last but not least, Penelope Hobhouse discuss today's gardens: water in gardens, gardens and nature, selecting right plants for right sites, reclaiming and revitalizing, and roof gardens, etc.

To Penelope, an ideal garden is "at the balance point between human control and untamed nature."

"Great Gardens of the World: In Search of Paradise" has 240 pages and many beautiful interior colour photos. It is a fine garden book that every garden lovers should have.

Gang Chen, Author of "LEED AP Exam Guide" & "Planting Design Illustrated." LEED AP, AIA
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