Little Sparta: The Garden of Ian Hamilton Finlay

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Frances Lincoln, Sep 1, 2003 - Gardening - 160 pages
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Sir Roy Strong calls Little Sparta 'the only really original garden made in this country since 1945'. Ian Hamilton Finlay's unique creation in the Pentland Hills south of Edinburgh is a garden composed as an artwork in itself. It incorporates concrete poetry, moral polemic, philosophical reflection and a sparkling sense of humour. While Finlay's works and installations throughout Europe and North America are well documented and justly famous, this is the first book devoted solely to the garden at Little Sparta, which has been at the heart of his life's work. It offers the reader a sense of the diversity and originality of the garden along with a text that unfolds the layers of meaning it contains.

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Sometimes IHF can seem a little cool if not outright combative. This book doesn't gainsay that, but does allow one the satisfaction of seeing that Spartan outlook allied to, perhaps 'mythically ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Tim Richardson is a writer who specializes in garden and landscape design and history. He has been gardens editor at Country Life, and landscape editor at Wallpaper magazine, and was founding editor of both the award-winning gardens magazine New Eden and Country Life Gardens. He now contributes mostly to the Daily Telegraph, House and Garden, Gardens Illustrated and Country Life. He is the author of Phaidon's The Garden Book, Vanguard Landscapes Gardens of Martha Schwartz, English Gardens of the 20th Century and Arcadian Friends: the Makers of the English Landscape Garden. He is also editor of Vista: the Culture and Politics of Gardens.As well as being a distinguished garden photographer -- he holds the Royal Horticultural Society's Gold Medal for photography -- Andrew Lawson is a painter, a passionate and knowledgeable gardener, and author of several successful gardening books.

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