The Wild Garden: Expanded Edition

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Timber Press, Sep 1, 2009 - Gardening - 360 pages
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First published in 1870, The Wild Garden challenged the prevailing garden style of the day and advocated a naturalistic style, in which hardy plants, both native and exotic, are arranged in groupings that mimic wild landscapes. Thanks to Robinson’s passionate advocacy, the naturalistic style triumphed, and Robinson's urgent message continues to resonate today. For this newly designed edition, Rick Darke has written an introductory essay that not only underscores Robinson’s importance in the evolution of garden design and ecology, but also explains his relevance for today’s gardeners, designers, and landscape professionals. The book contains over 100 stunning photographs taken by Darke, including images of Gravetye and of modern “wild” gardens. 

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User Review  - pennsylady - LibraryThing

The Wild Garden was originally published in 1870 and proceeded through a series of editions and reprints through the author's lifetime. (1838-1935) Ther fifth edition in 2009 contains new chapters and ... Read full review


Introduction to William Robinson and the Expanded Edition of The Wild Garden
Reading The Wild Garden
The Wild Garden in the Twentyfirst Century
Fifth Edition of 1895
List of Illustrations
Preface to the Second Edition of 1881
Preface to the Fifth Edition of 1895
Shrubbery Plantation and Wood
Woodland Drives and Grass Walks
The Brookside Water and Bog Gardens
Wild Gardening on Walls Rocks or Ruins
Wild and Other Roses in the Wild Garden
Some Results
Hardy Exotic Flowering Plants for the Wild Garden
Selections of Hardy Exotic Plants for the Wild Garden

Example from Hardy Bulbs in Grass of Lawns or Meadows
Example from the Forgetmenot Family
Example from the Globe Flower Order
Plants Chiefly Fitted for the Wild Garden
Ditches Shady Lanes Copses and Hedgerows
Climbers for Trees and Bushes
The Garden of British Wild Flowers and Trees
Index to the Fifth Edition
Botanical Names and Revisions
Index of Plants People and Places

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About the author (2009)

William Robinson (1838–1935) emigrated from Ireland at a young age and was rapidly welcomed into the top echelons of British horticulture and botany. By 1866 he was a Fellow in the Linnean Society, sponsored by his friend Charles Darwin. Already an expert on the flora of the British Isles, he traveled the breadth of North America by train in 1870, observing regional habitats and forging lasting connections with Charles Sargent, Asa Gray, Frederick Law Olmsted, and others of their stature. Robinson was just thirty-two when he first published The Wild Garden, which has proved to be the most insightful, influential, and enduring of his many books and journals. Robinson's brilliance and enormous personal energy enabled him to become one of the most accomplished gardeners, editors, and publishers of his era, and he is often referred to as the Father of the English Flower Garden. Gravetye Manor, a sixteenth-century house which survives on over one-thousand acres in West Sussex, became his home and laboratory for developing and refining the wild garden concept.

Rick Darke is a landscape design consultant, author, lecturer, and photographer based in Pennsylvania who blends art, ecology, and cultural geography in the creation and conservation of livable landscapes. His projects include scenic byways, public gardens, corporate and collegiate campuses, mixed-use conservation developments, and residential gardens. Darke served on the staff of Longwood Gardens for twenty years and received the Scientific Award of the American Horticultural Society. His work has been featured in the New York Times and on National Public Radio. Darke is recognized as one of the world's experts on grasses and their use in public and private landscapes. For further information visit

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