Paradise and Plenty: A Rothschild Family Garden

Mary Keen, photos by Tom Hatton. Pimpernel (IPG, dist.), $75 (304p) ISBN 978-1-910258-12-5
Keen, a British garden designer, gloriously records the life of Eythrope, the Rothschild family’s private garden in Buckinghamshire, “an extensive walled garden deep in the English countryside.” Well-written and filled with seductive full color photographs, this book demands the attention of landscape designers and armchair gardeners alike. Hatton’s photographs deliver: black-and-white how-to albums explain suckering tomatoes and collaring cherries; full-page color shots display runner beans, figs, and the stunning auricula theater; and, most impressively, seven double gatefolds showcase the garden in exquisite detail. Keen’s writing style often exceeds the luscious pictures. She covers the history of the Rothschild family and its estates before diving deep into various themes, including veggies, borders, topiary, and floral decor. For working gardeners, descriptions include the methods of the Rothschilds’ meticulous and hard-working garden staff, such as hand-pollinating apricot blossoms “each midday with a rabbit’s tail on a stick.” For armchair gardeners, Keen’s English garden jargon (e.g.,glasshouse, hazel benders, posy pads) adds charm to this treasure. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/21/2015
Release date: 11/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-910258-75-0
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