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The Garden Lover's Guide to the Northeast

The Garden Lover's Guide to the Northeast.
Paul Bennett
New York: Princeton Architectural Press
Publication Date: 

paper, 180 p., $21.95

If you're looking to escape your present surroundings and experience the beauty of the gardens in the northeastern United States, Paul Bennett has created a book to make it easier. Bennett, the senior writer at Landscape Architecture, has written a fabulous guide that includes not only the popular gardens such as Longwood Gardens and the New York Botanical Garden but also lesser-known treasures including Chanticleer, a pleasure garden, and Ladew Topiary Gardens. Mr. Bennett includes gardens located throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic states that, in his opinion, "exhibit noteworthy garden features."

The book is divided into five chapters arranged geographically, a logical organization for those planning a trip to a specific region. Each region includes a map and a list of garden locations. Individual garden entries include the basics (hours of operation, admission or parking fees, address, telephone number and nearby attractions) as well as engaging descriptions and several color photos of each garden's major features. The descriptions not only help the potential traveler choose which gardens to visit and when to visit, but they also begin to acquaint the reader with the story behind the garden's current attractions. Many entries outline how the garden, arboretum or cemetery evolved since its creation, sometimes with brief discussions about the garden's creator or periods of neglect and later revival.

If you aren't able to schedule a trip, still consider purchasing this book to escape vicariously through Bennett's captivating discussions of 140 Northeastern gardens.

— Linda L. Jones