The English Garden
Gardening writer Ursula Buchan has combined forces with garden photographer Andrew Lawson to explore the English garden and capture its richness and diversity. Focusing on gardens that are open to visitors, she explains the historical trends and the work of garden makers of the past that have shaped the English gardens we see today. With a wealth of outstanding examples, illustrated with 350 photographs, she describes many garden styles – formality, the landscape tradition, the Arts and Crafts style, the cottage garden and recent phenomena such as New Naturalism. Color, water, ornament and foreign influences are among the themes she considers, as well as such defining characteristics as the very English urge to grow flowers and the nation's love of roses.
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Most of gardens of the world can be put into two major categories: formal gardens and naturalistic gardens. The formal gardens are represented by Egyptian gardens, Persian gardens, Islamic gardens, Italian gardens, French gardens, and some American gardens, etc. The naturalistic gardens are represented by some famous English gardens, Chinese gardens, and Japanese gardens, etc. If you mention English gardens, most people will think of large areas of lawns, trees, garden architecture, lakes and sky. These are the basic elements of a typical English landscape garden. "The English Garden" covers not only the typical and well-known English landscape gardens, but also formal garden layout ("formal bones"), country gardens, kitchen gardens and contemporary gardens, influences from abroad, as well as garden ornament, plant materials such as English roses, etc. Ursula Buchan and Andrew Lawson wrote: "All gardens, if they can be described as such, have ultimately to do with the desire of their maker to control their surroundings." They continued to discuss the various periods of English gardens including the Roman period when the early formal gardens dominated and the Landscape Movement period when geometric forms were intentionally rejected. They also discussed knot gardens and parterres, Medieval courtyard gardens, the Arts and Crafts style, the cottage gardens and the New Naturalism. "The English Garden" is one of the most comprehensive books on English gardens open to visitors. It has 240 pages and over 300 color interior photographs. It is an indispensable book for English garden lovers. Copyright 2007 Gang Chen, author of "Planting Design Illustrated"