The spirit of a race or an age can be reflected even in the choice and use of plants: with the coming ofZen Buddhism, the Japanese practically ceased to grow flowers in their gardens, an attitude which Le Notre, garden designer ofVersailles, who once said 'flowers are for nursemaids' would doubtless have appreciated. In this fascinating and highly informative book, Christopher Thacker tells the history of gardens from their origins in the 'natural' paradises of Greek myth to the present day. Studying individual gardens or garden topics which are rep~ntative of an age or region, he builds up a comprehensive survey of the gardens and garden theories of an era. Whether Dr Thacker is discussing garden philosophers and designers (Alberti, Mollet, de Vries, Capability Brown, Genrude Jekyll, Russell Page, and many others), or bringing to life the lost gardens of the past, like the Yuan Ming Yuan in Peling, or William Shenstone's the Leasowes, or surveying the weird and mysterious statuary of Bomarzo, his text is always absorbing and authoritative. Profusely illustrated, this book should become a classic on its subject.
Christopher Thacker is the founding editor of The Garden History Society Journal.
"Mr Thacker's history will be easy to supplement but almost impossible to excel. As editor of Garden History. . . he is our leading expert on the subject. He writes with scholarship, fluency, and love."--Nigel Nicholson, The Daily Telegraph "Tom Carter's history of the Victorian garden is for those whose appetite has already been whetted, perhaps by Thacker. Carter provides fascinating details, intriguing for their own sake and for their insight into the English society of the time. Though both books may lack the charm and wit of others' efforts at garden history, such as Ronald King's "The Quest for Paradise," they add nicely to the garden bookshelf."--Tom Carter, Los Angeles Times