cover image Adventures in Eden: An Intimate Tour of the Private Gardens of Europe

Adventures in Eden: An Intimate Tour of the Private Gardens of Europe

Carolyn Mullet. Timber, $40 (300p) ISBN 978-1-60469-846-6

Mullet, a garden designer, leads readers on a spirited tour of 50 private European gardens. “The private garden has a special place in the roster of outdoor spaces,” writes Mullet, as a site that is at once natural and cozy. Before each photo spread, Mullet introduces the garden’s history, designers, and theme. Broughton Grange in Oxfordshire, England offers a “singular, sweeping panorama” designed by Tom Stuart-Smith in 2000, whereas Veddw in Wales was designed to honor the region’s farming community. In Scotland, she finds Charles Jencks’s scientifically themed Garden of Cosmic Speculation, where forking paths mirror the double helix structure of DNA and a grid of artificial turf and aluminum is arranged to suggest the warping of spacetime by black holes. In the Netherlands and Germany, the gardens Mullet surveys betray the common influence of contemporary Dutch Wave designer Piet Oudolf, with his style of soft naturalistic contours. In northern Spain and Italy, she finds a pair of gardens united by their success in growing olive trees in unforgiving climates, and in France, a château garden planted to emphasize the azures and silvers of the ancestral owners’ family crest. Homebound gardeners will be dazzled. (Oct.)