Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyWoodenly written, this book about the green Deep South is full of repetition, most noticeably in a chapter on allees. The prose is dull, and it is not helped by the dry historical quotations that open each chapter. These grand, imposing gardens--from the well-known Rosedown and Dunleith to less familiar homes, like The Cottage and Houmas House--obviously deserve livelier, more inspiring descriptions. Other questionable elements come into play: Feltwell and Odenwald tend to dismiss the slave labor on which most of the establishments depended (comparing it to the management of estates of Europe). Still, the area along the Mississippi between Natchez and New Orleans is indeed a treasure trove of living history. The authors do place the gardens in historical perspective, tracing structures and designs--whether gazebos or greenhouses--back to Europe origins. Odenwald ( Southern Plants ) is a professor of landscape architecture at Louisiana State University; Feltwell ( The Naturalist's Garden ) is a lecturer on garden design at the University of Kent in England. Photos not seen by PW . (Jan.)
George CohenIn 1835 Joseph Holt Ingraham, traveling by steamboat up the Mississippi from New Orleans to Natchez, observed that the "grandeur of the forests and the luxuriance of the shrubs and plants have no parallel." Now, more than 150 years later, the authors have retraced Ingraham's route. Although the legendary gardens requiring a corps of gardeners for maintenance are gone, there is now a remarkable array of more-manageable gardens. The authors start with a chapter on gardens along the Mississippi River corridor, then cover such subjects as walls, fences, gates, verandas, heirloom plants, water gardens, arbors, gazebos, and statuary. Best of all are the 200 color photographs.
- Taylor Trade Publishing
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