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Gardens Through Time: 200 Years of the English Garden

Gardens Through Time: 200 Years of the English Garden
Jane Owen and Diarmuid Gavin
BBC Books
Publication Date: 

cloth, 240 p., $45.00

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society, journalist/garden historian Jane Owen and garden designer/BBC TV personality Diarmuid Gavin take the reader through seven garden styles from the regency period to the present day. A timeline recording horticultural happenings and important events assists readers in defining the separate stylistic periods.

Going into greater depth than the traditional praise for the works of historically important garden designers and comments by the literati of the time, the authors tell of the many factors behind the evolving landscape styles in Britain and illustrate their comments with a range of both historic drawings and full-color contemporary photographs. In a thoroughly refreshing, lively writing style, Owen and Gavin focus not just on the developing landscapes of important large estates, but also on the effects of changing conditions and lifestyles on home gardens. For those gardeners who may wish to recreate a style, the book includes the design plans and plant lists for period styles reproduced by the Royal Horticultural Society at their garden site in Yorkshire.

For Americans, this book provides an opportunity to gain better insight into British gardening efforts and, in particular, a look into modern designs by some of the most creative, revolutionary designers in the British Isles.

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