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Gardens in the Spirit of the Place

Gardens in the Spirit of the Place
Page Dickey
Stewart, Tabori & Chang
Publication Date: 

cloth, 191 p., $35.00

Who has not marveled at the beauty of a stand of native trees or been awed by panoramic views of mountains and seascapes? Garden writer Page Dickey praises America in this enchanting collection of in-depth profiles of gardens that reflect the regional character of their individual settings. The properties are diverse in size, topography, and geography. What they all have in common is that those who designed each garden demonstrated a strong appreciation for the individual regional spirit, and the plants in each garden, both native and exotic, blend with the character of the scenery.

Presenting a brief descriptive passage on the nature of each region, the author divides the text into sections: farmlands, Eastern woodlands; Southern tradition; Texas town and country; California gardens; artists' gardens in the Northwest; and water's-edge compositions. None have the repetitive quality of those designs that are often referred to as "American Gardens." Following in the footsteps of Jens Jensen, Page Dickey has a deep understanding of the importance of maintaining the regional landscape, enhancing it with plants that are native and those exotics that are hardy in the habitat. The handsome photographs by John M. Hall enrich the text, which expresses the delight of the author on her discovery of such artistic beauty and originality. This brilliant book is highly recommended to everyone who loves gardens.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden