Private Gardens of England

Penelope Hobhouse, Author, Hugh Palmer, Illustrator, Geoffrey Jellicoe, Foreword by Harmony $40 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-56267-3
Without offering specific rules of green thumb, this attractive volume traces the influence of Muslim, Mediterranean, Cornish and other cultures on 33 British gardens, as well as the gardens' ownership history and renascence from the mire of neglect (in 1954 the gardens of one manor house were advertised as ""one and a half acres with orchard wilderness and pigsty''). Designers alternate bright and muted tones, geometric and asymmetric patterns, and vary the flora's exposure to light. They harness the climate and select plants based on environment, esthetics and historical continuity (some of the gardens, owned by fifth-generation heirs, feature 200- and 300-year-old specimens). British gardening author Hobhouse's dense narrative is elegant, and the color pictures are beautiful, but the volume would have been better served with more of the latter. (April 23)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1987
Release date: 03/01/1987
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