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What are Gardens For?

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Table of Contents

What are gardens for? Garden Visiting Garden Criticism The Garden Critic in Action Taste Style and Meaning Memory and Atmosphere The Ten Best Gardens: 1. Wang Shi Yuan, Suzhou, China 2. Hidcote Manor, Gloucestershire, England 3. Ninfa, Lazio, Italy 4. Nezu Museum garden, Tokyo, Japan 5. Innisfree, Millbrook, New York, USA 6. The Alhambra/Generalife complex, Granada, Spain 7. Lotusland, California, USA 8. Villa Lante, Bagnaia, Italy 9. Mount Stewart, Newtownards, Northern Ireland 10 = Fenton House, Hampstead, London 10= The Majorelle Garden. Marrakech. Morocco

About the Author

RORY STUART is the author of Gardens of the World: the Great Traditions. He worked as a teacher of English literature in India and America and at Uppingham School, Westminster School, and The Cheltenham Ladies' College. He inherited a Cotswold cottage with a beautiful garden and began to look at plants and gardens critically, which eventually led to a course in Garden Design. He set up as a designer, and began writing articles for magazines including Hortus, The Garden, The English Garden and The Historic Gardens Review. He has led garden tours of France, India and Italy and his fascination with gardens has now taken him to Rome, where he is learning how to grow plants in the challenging conditions of the hills outside the city.


Appealing and absorbing guide which urges us to think about what we want from our gardens. An ideal companion for Yellow Book abd Good Gardens Guide users. The Bookseller A richly entertaining exploration of t edifferent ways gardens can be perceived and enjoyed Image Interiors and Living In exploring the question of what our gardens are for, Stuart encourages us to cast a more analytical eye over our own garden and the gardens we visit The Scotsman 'A thought-provoking volume that makes us question what it is we expect from gardens. By becoming constructive critics, we can better understand which qualities we enjoy in a garden and get more out of our own.' Homes & Gardens Will enlighten some readers about how to see places in a different way, while others will want to argue with almost every conclusion he makes Gardens Illustrated Rory Stuart's presentation of his extensive research is seamless and beautiful to read We Love This Book 'Gardens, whether historic or contemporary, are for Stuart potential works of art and so they deserve analysis and serious criticism - in the positive sense of that word. His comments take full account of the sweep of garden history...This is a thought-provoking book' Historic Gardens Foundation '[What are gardens for] may seem a facile question, but it evokes an erudite reply from Stuart, a garden designer who has travelled the world and perfectly sets out his own conclusions. He teaches us how to analyse and define our opinions and to recognise the exact elements that give us pleasure - in effect, how to be garden critics.' Sunday Telegraph 'an inspirational book for any garden designer searching a new approach to the garden they are about to design ... what is really valuable about this book is that it makes you think and question a lot of things we might consider important in a garden.' Garden Design Journal 'This intriguing book asks how gardens affect us and what constitutes good taste in a garden. Along the way there are no-holds-barred assessments of well-known gardens and the author's eclectic choice of the world's ten best gardens. A stimulating thought-provoking read.' Daily Mail Weekend 'a thought-provoking book, which talks about the ways in which both the visitor and the garden maker experience a garden, in order to help both of them enjoy it more.' The Professional Gardener 'This is where the book comes into its own, approaching garden criticism as if it were literary criticism: using criticism to describe, classify, contextualise, interpret and finally evaluate the garden.' Cornwall Gardens Trust Newsletter "thoughtful analysis provides the reader with a wealth of fascinating information ... an enjoyable and stimulating read that serves as a launch pad for more thought - and a lot more garden visiting." -- Nigel Colborn The Garden 'What Stuart does is coax us to think' -- Anna Pavord The Independent

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