cloth, 160 p., $40
Melanie Eclare is first and foremost a wonderful photographer, and her photographs dominate this book. She picks her subjects carefully, from the popular gardens at Butterstream to Darina and Timothy Allen's gardens at the Ballymaloe Cookery School. Ms. Eclare's photographs capture the essence of a place and the spirit of those involved in making a specific place special. The photographs in this book make you feel as if you know the landscape of Birr Castle, Sean O'Criadain's unpretentious garden at Ballinacarriga, and Nicholas and Susan Mosse's waterfalls at Kilfane Glen.
When you tear yourself away from the photographs and begin to read the accompanying text, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the personal and knowledgeable descriptions of each garden. There's plenty of plant detail to satisfy the botanist and horticulturist and to meet the needs of the curious. When you have finished reading this enjoyable marriage of photographs and text, you'll find page 258 invaluable. This page provides all of the information necessary to reach those gardens that are open to the public.
— Edward J. Valauskas, Manager, Library and Plant Information Office, Chicago Botanic Garden.