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Posted June 1, 2005
As The Dowager Marchioness of Salisbury writes in her comprehensive Introduction, 'In recorded time, the story of the gardens at Hatfield begins in the early years of the seventeenth century, but my imagination plays with the idea that the tale could have begun forty years earlier, with the seeds of their creation being sown in the mind of a young boy......' She presents much more than a chronicle of recreation in her introduction; she also offers an intriguing story. The dowager Marchioness is an expert guide as she lived at Hatfield House until 2004 where she planned and oversaw the recreation of this incomparably beautiful garden covering some 45 acres of the 7000 acre estate. Described by one as the greatest British gardener of the twentieth century, she takes readers on aan all-encompassing tour of this remarkable garden as her vision for it is fulfilled. Photographer Sue Snell, an acclaimed documentary and horticultural photographer, is an astute recorder as she follows the garden's progress over a period of eight years in all seasons. Some 250 color photographs superbly illustrate the 144 page text. A double page plan of the garden gives readers an overview of the terrain as well as an appreciation for the scope of this undertaking. The volume is divided into four sections, the North, which includes approaches and the North Court. We find the Old Palace in the West section as well as the Lime Walk and the lovely Holly Walk and the Wilderness. The Mount Garden, found in the South section, is breathtaking. Finally, the East section features a grand Orchard, delectable Kitchen Garden, and what estate is complete without a Vineyard? Not only garden lovers but all will enjoy and treasure this beautifully rendered volume.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.