On the Making of Gardens

Overview

It was a nervous breakdown that drew Sir George Sitwell to Italy in the early years of the twentieth century. And it was the incomparable gardens of Tuscany, Rome, and the Italian lake district that inspired him to write his classic analysis of what he considered the timeless principles of garden design.

This is not a book about flowers, plants, and practical horticulture. Sitwell’s stance is an intellectual one, invoking music and magic in his description of those mystical ...

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Overview

It was a nervous breakdown that drew Sir George Sitwell to Italy in the early years of the twentieth century. And it was the incomparable gardens of Tuscany, Rome, and the Italian lake district that inspired him to write his classic analysis of what he considered the timeless principles of garden design.

This is not a book about flowers, plants, and practical horticulture. Sitwell’s stance is an intellectual one, invoking music and magic in his description of those mystical places where landscape and atmosphere are brought together in artful conjunction. Subjective and controversial as Sitwell’s comments on the history and fashions may have been, they are also impressively researched, empathetic and deeply felt. This was a book that elicited a passion in England for all things Italian, especially for the magic of its landscape.

This is an ingenious, elegant, and erudite book about wild and tended places that, despite its distant voice, maintains a modern relevance. Sitwell believed in the therapeutic value of gardens, in the intrinsic beauty of both planned and unplanned ecological integrity. His stylish, knowledgeable, and poetically fervent book, long overdue for reprint and here illustrated with lovely period photographs of the gardens described, will delight gardeners of every taste, age or nationality.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
....This edition is unpretentious and straightforward, with black-and-white photographs, nicely period in feel. Sir George had passionate views on garden design, and the book is on the whole a paean of praise for the great Italian gardens of the Renaissance...Sir George is extremely keen on atmosphere and poetic effect, and his own prose is magisterial, rising to a crescendo...where time "has forgotten these giant cypresses which lift from the gulf dark pinnacles of night, great rugged, gloomy-verdured spires"...

If this sort of thing seizes you, then Sir George is your man. —Penelope Lively

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567922387
  • Publisher: Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2003
  • Pages: 129
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.64 (h) x 0.53 (d)

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