The Sensuous Garden
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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Others might include night-scented stock (Matthiola bicornis), honeysuckles (
Lonicera), night-blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum), Hoya carnosa, datura,
the evening primrose (Oenothera biennis), and all the white-flowering shrubs,
Must be picked as soon as they ripen. Ribes rubrum (redcurrant) 4-8 Size: 7 x 5 ft.
(2.2 x 1.5 m) Description: Very nondescript shrub until the berries form, when it is
transformed by the massed bright red currants with their particularly tart acidity.
(90 cm x 1.2 m) Description: Glaucous evergreen shrub with fine aromatic foliage
and long spikes of fragrant flowers in summer. Cultivation: Easily grown from
seed. Likes sunshine and very well-drained soil. Prune immediately after
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The sensuous gardenUser Review - Not Available - 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 ... Read full review