Why have the peoples of the world made pleasure gardens, and why have they made them in such different styles? Here, author Rory Stuart explains how all pleasure gardens derive from one of the world's six great gardening traditions — Italian, Islamic, Chinese, Japanese, English flower garden, and the English park — making them the subject of this book. To create this mammoth resource, Stuart traveled around the world, from Buenos Aires to Vancouver, from Seattle to Cape Cod, from Ireland to India, to China, Japan, and Australia, touring and examining the differences in garden styles. Now he explains them here, abetted by beautiful full-color photos, approaching pleasure gardens as works of art and placing them in their historical and cultural context.
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RORY STUART is the author of Gardens of the World: the Great Traditions. He worked as a teacher of English literature in India and America and at Uppingham School, Westminster School, and The Cheltenham Ladies' College. He inherited a Cotswold cottage with a beautiful garden and began to look at plants and gardens critically, which eventually led to a course in Garden Design. He set up as a designer, and began writing articles for magazines including Hortus, The Garden, The English Garden and The Historic Gardens Review. He has led garden tours of France, India and Italy and his fascination with gardens has now taken him to Rome, where he is learning how to grow plants in the challenging conditions of the hills outside the city.Review:
An ambitious book... brilliant colour photographs and a perceptively critical text. Gardens Illustrated Stuart's thoughtful text takes a pensive look at where the English get their passion for flowers and why every country has such unique gardening traditions. Amateur Photographer Very few books cover so much ground geographically and historically, and Rory Stuart has obviously travelled the world and thought about the gardens very seriously while he photographed them. Oxford Times Rory Stuart has succeeded in his brave attempt to portray the great traditional garden styles. Nicely illustrated with good examples and interesting text. English Garden If you want to spend the winter swotting up on the history and culture of gardens around the world, this book should ensure that you'll be fully clued up come spring. Scotsman An intelligently illustrated overview of garden history through the ages. Country Life Rambles around the globe with an eye firmly set on different cultures and ages of garden design. Irish Times All gardening is borrowing and because of the way the book is organised, Stuart can frequently demonstrate how much one tradition may influence another... The scope of this book is extraordinarily wide, but Stuart's narrative steers clear of bog. It's a pleasure to read. Independent An exciting book, simple and clear, illustrated with Stuart's own beautiful photographs. Ham & High My top choice in the category of beautiful books. Stuart has been a schoolmaster and is now a tour leader and garden-owner outside Rome. He writes with clear authority, but is effacingly modest about the foundations on which his global book rests. The colour pictures are stunning and every one of them seems to be his own, whether in Iran, Japan or America. Years of travel have gone into his survey, and as a result he presents gardens with an incisive understanding of their distinctive relationship to nature. Some great comments find a place too. -- Robin Lane Fox Financial Times A little uplift doesn't go amiss in midwinter, and there is no better place to find it than in Stuart's glorious book. He sets out to discover why gardeners around the world have always taken pleasure in growing for beauty as well as for the pot. It is a proper, scholarly history of the pleasure garden. But Stuart's elegant prose is a delight to read, and his magnificently illustrated survey of the great gardening traditions of Islamic and Oriental cultures, as well as more familiar English, Italian and US ones, it is a wonderful introduction to the subject. Daily Mail A delightful round-the-world tour, perfectly illustrating he culture and aesthetics of sundry pleasure gardens: Italian, American, Islamic and Oriental. Scotsman This one-man Grand Tour places him ahead of many stay-at-home theorisers and I applaud his personal and engaging account. Hortus This new book by a rare polymath and a skilful author covers ground examined by no other. It gives appetising descriptions of notable gardens in a range of countries, many of which will be unfamiliar to British garden visitors... Excellent colour photographs illustrate the book. Garden Aims to increase our understanding of a garden's meaning in order to enhance our enjoyment of the whole garden experience. Professional Gardener A wide-ranging andfascinating investigation of the great traditions of international garden design. Homes & Interiors Scotland Stuart's style is relaxed, often self-deprecating. But it is not just beginners who will gain enormously from this discerning book. You would have to be extremely erudite (or very self-assured) not to find much here to take on board. Historic Gardens Review
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