cloth, 159 pp., $39.95
With this work, Canadian photographer Linda Dobbs and her husband, Kildare Dobbs, have fashioned a memorable portrait of the 110-acre Vatican Gardens in Rome. Hidden by the high walls surrounding Vatican City, these are the remarkable private gardens of the Pope, green spaces that are partially viewed by visitors from afar from the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica or the Vatican Galleries. The author’s informative narrative, filled with anecdotes on the site residents, traces the history of the grounds. He reflects that a walk through the gardens is like a stroll through the history of horticulture from the medieval period forward. Assisted by a locator map of the site, the reader can enjoy the same scenery in the splendid photographs: a variety of gardens with statuary, fountains, ancient trees, and flowering ornamentals that have given peace and pleasure to its owners through the centuries.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden