If the formal lines of Versailles, Sissinghurst Castle or the gardens of Kyoto fertilize your horticultural aspirations, then the imaginative gardens in The New Garden Paradise: Great Private Gardens of the World will raise the bar for your backyard. Edited by the incomparable Dominique Browning, essayist and editor-in-chief of House &andamp; Garden magazine, the book declares that the last decade has produced exceptionally talented and progressive landscape architects and designers and supports that premise with detailed, breathless text and phenomenal photos of 35 personal paradises full of tangible innovation that blooms and sways in the breeze. While pretentious design descriptors like lush and sensual, ruthlessly discriminating and tour de force are somewhat distracting, the gardens themselves remain as mysterious and elusive as a good novel or poem. Caught in various moods and seasons and organized into categories including New Classicism, Personal Visions and the Cottage Garden Reinvented, these gardens ultimately surpass words to stir the pure feeling, according to Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, that people long for.

comments powered by Disqus