Great Gardens of America

Great Gardens of America

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by Tim Richardson

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Great Gardens of America surveys some of the loveliest grounds in America and Canada, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Quebec to California, from the tropical Southeast to the industrial Midwest. The 25 gardens showcased range from 18th-century landscape gardens, such as Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Virginia, through 20th-century creations, such


Great Gardens of America surveys some of the loveliest grounds in America and Canada, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Quebec to California, from the tropical Southeast to the industrial Midwest. The 25 gardens showcased range from 18th-century landscape gardens, such as Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Virginia, through 20th-century creations, such as the lakeside garden at Innisfree in New York and dramatic Naumkeag in Massachusetts, to the work of exciting new designers, such as Topher Delaney in San Francisco and New Mexico's Martha Schwartz. Many of the gardens are open to the public, so readers can actually visit and draw firsthand inspiration. The others, newer domestic gardens, offer tantalizing glimpses into a glamorous world of luxurious outdoor living. Three hundred stunning color photographs by renowned garden photographer Andrea Jones accompany Tim Richardson’s insightful text.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Don’t mistake Great Gardens of America as a dry an academic treatise or just another coffee table book though. Richardson’s writing is well-researched and often sprinkled with a wry phrase that makes you chuckle when you least expect it. He manages to convey the expanse and feel of the gardens’ character through his narrative—a not insignificant task, if you’ve ever tried describing a garden. There is much to learn from his descriptions and his overarching theme of the American garden as embracing wilderness." —

"Thank you Frances Lincoln Ltd for giving us a publication that allows us to visit some of the great gardens of North America, without having to leave home. This book surveys garden estates and private parks in practically every climate zone in the U.S. and Canada. Twenty five gardens with 300 brilliant photographs are included. For each garden surveyed, the author provides an interesting combination of historical and architectural background that helps to identify the landowner’s personal contribution to the garden design." —

"A British garden historian and critic of contemporary landscape architecture, Tim Richardson, puts forth his selection of the top gardens in the United States and Canada in this lavishly illustrated volume on landscape design. Gorgeously photographed by the award-winning photographer Andrea Jones, these enchanting sites are generally located on the east and west coasts of North America and typically on large estates and display gardens. In his appraisal of twenty-five places he summaries the distinguishing qualities of the individual landscapes, ranging in styles from the colonial to the avant-garde; he reports on their histories; their owners’ interests; designers’ goals; and important horticultural collections. Richardson skillfully contrasts the highlighted properties through his organization of chapters, expertly maintaining reader’s interest throughout the book. His critical analyses of the works of leading contemporary landscape architects is insightful and provides the reader with cutting edge knowledge on the direction of modern design. Destined to be a classic for its scholarly survey, the book is a pleasure to read." — The National Gardener

"It should come as no surprise that five of the 25 gardens in Great Gardens of America are in the Golden State. From the public wonders of San Marino's Huntington Desert Garden, Cornerstone Place in Sonoma, Santa Barbara's Lotusland and Woodside's Filoli to the private sanctuary of Sonoma's Donnell Garden—each define what author Tim Richardson calls "America's embrace of the wilderness ideal." — C Magazine

Product Details

Lincoln, Frances Limited
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Tim Richardson is a writer who specializes in garden and landscape design and history. He has been gardens editor at Country Life, and landscape editor at Wallpaper* magazine, and was founding editor of both the award-winning gardens magazine New Eden and Country Life Gardens. He now contributes mostly to the Daily Telegraph, House and Garden, Gardens Illustrated and Country Life. He is the author of Phaidon's The Garden Book, Vanguard Landscapes Gardens of Martha Schwartz, English Gardens of the 20th Century and the award-winning The New English Garden published by Frances Lincoln. He is also editor of Vista: the Culture and Politics of Gardens (Frances Lincoln).

Andrea Jones is one of the world's foremost garden photographers, having built up an international reputation for her photographs of landscape architecture, gardens and plants. The latter was the subject of Andrea's critically acclaimed solo book Plantworlds (2005). She has collaborated on numerous other book projects since Bold Plants and Grasses and Bamboos, both by Noel Kingsbury (1999). Andrea's collection of work forms the stock library Garden Exposures and appears in the international press including Gardens Illustrated, Garden Design (USA), House and Garden and The Daily Telegraph. Based in Scotland, Andrea is a Fellow of the RSA and exhibits her work around the world having had several successful solo exhibitions in both the UK and US. In 2008/9 she was voted Photographer of the Year by her peers in the UK's Garden Media Guild.

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Great Gardens of America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Henry_Berry More than 1 year ago
There is no characteristic style of great gardens of America; as there is for great gardens of England or Italy for example. The wide geographical and climatic range of the United States and Canada and the diversity of influences on the cultures are reflected in the gardens giving them a greater diversity than any other country. The diverse cultural and aesthetic backgrounds of the landscape designers accounts for this too. More so than other countries, the great gardens of America incorporate and sometimes represent the vegetation and atmosphere of their locations (rather than aim to create sanctuaries distinct from their surroundings). In most cases, the location is the source for the idea or inspiration of the garden. A location on Long Island for instance lent itself to a house overlooking a pond resembling the famous Shinto shrine at Ise in Japan. The gardens around this house expand on the Japanese reference with their ponds, antiquities, and sculpture seen in Japanese gardens. This attunement with specifics and moods of the natural world notable in Japanese landscape and garden design is seen too in most of the other gardens. Lurie Park in the city of Chicago carries this approach to an exceptionally imaginative point. This park crisscrossed by walkways is like a patch of original prairie with its wildflowers, grasses, and other vegetation. Quebec to the American Southwest, the American Northwest to Miami is the territorial range of the gardens. Within this range come gardens in California, New York, Midwestern states, and others. Each of the 25 gardens is viewed in an individual section with an engaging and informative play of words and photographs. The text of the writer Richardson rests of his background as a garden historian and landscape architecture critic. The text brings out the general and particular features of each garden by relating the origins of the design, historical points, and biographical and stylistic matters about the property owner and the landscape designer. Jones' 300 color photographs of varying sizes and perspectives (wide-scale to close-up) work in coordination with the text. Jones is the 2008 Royal Horticulture Society/Garden Media Guild's Photographer of the Year. While visually appealing and informative, the book goes beyond the typical style and intent of an art/coffee-table book. It's obvious that more editorial and design thought went into it. For text and photographs working together openly and implicitly are like a memorable guided walking tour through each of the gardens.