The Sensuous Garden
Pleasure and beauty, along with good and evil, were born in the garden, and it is to the garden we turn again and again, seeking an almost primal connection to the senses.Taking the five senses (or six, including intuition) as his jumping off point, Montagu Don offers a wide-ranging, reflective view of the experiences the garden offers. Dons vision of the sensuous garden lies at the heart of this luxuriously illustrated book -- including such delightful touches as night-blooming flowers to perfume the evening air, richly textured ground covers to soften the path, and monochrome flower beds to explore the nuance of color.Don's text, exploring the nature of sensuality and the sensuality of nature, reveals as much about human life as it does about gardening. How the eye sees yellow; how plants use light; what the thorn of the rose tells us about beauty and pain. Don reflects on these and other topics, the sort that gardeners muse over as they pause in their labors.The Sensuous Garden is one of the most seductive, intimate, enjoyable, and original gardening books ever produced.
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The sensuous gardenUser Review - Book Verdict
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 journalist, writes, "We have to let go. This means accepting failure with a shrug of the shoulders and success with delight rather than with triumph. Our gardens are out there to be enjoyed, not conquered." He advises how to do this in chapters based on the five senses, but this is not "how-to" advice. The chapter on touch, for example, talks about walking barefoot, not when to go into the garden to plant. Don summarizes this philosophy of gardening in a final chapter titled "intuition," where he emphasizes that "there are no rules" and that most experts practice a "do as I say, not as I do" approach. This book helps us experience our garden in a fresh way and enjoy what is there. Recommended for all gardening collections.--Daniel Starr, Museum of Modern Art, New York