The Sensuous Garden

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Simon & Schuster Editions, 1997 - Gardening - 160 pages
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Taking the five senses (or six, if you count intuition) as his starting point, Montagu Don offers us a wide-ranging and deeply involving discussion of the emotional, spiritual, and physical effects of a sensuous approach to the garden. Perhaps the most undervalued horticultural virtue, he maintains, sensuality claims the garden as a jumble of experiences rather than a sequence of botanical exercises. In the hands of this brilliant polymath of a writer we learn how to create and manage a garden to optimize all the senses. We see how each season brings its own distinctive sensations - the smell of newly mown grass in spring, the sublime flavor of a perfectly ripened tomato at the height of summer, the clinging smell of bonfires in autumn, the severe purity of the garden in winter. Also included is practical information about such sensuous touches as planting night-blooming flowers to perfume the evening garden, using richly textured ground covers to soften the path, creating monochrome flower beds to explore the nuance of color, and experimenting with the sweet and delicate flavors of baby vegetables. What emerges is a portrait of the garden as a place that affects not only our senses but also our moods and emotions, providing spiritual refreshment as well as physical delight.

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The sensuous garden

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This book would be enticing even if it consisted only of the lavish photographs, but it is the text that reminds us of why we garden and suggests ways to return to the basic pleasures. Don, a British ... Read full review

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