Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Spirit of Place: The Making of a New England Garden

Spirit of Place is a beautifully presented book, a biography really, of the genesis of the gardens and grounds surrounding the author's home. Due out 23th June from Timber Press, it's 288 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats. 

This is a really inspirational and surprisingly intimate look at the creation of a green space which is a product of the author's vision and creativity and fits into its setting companionably. The author began renovating the gardens in 1991 after he and his partner bought a farmhouse and land in New England. Obviously a garden developed over 30 years (and often following contours laid out over the previous 2 centuries) isn't an undertaking which bears comparison to new gardens. It was valuable to me to follow the development and maturation of these gardens, but also to follow along with the author as he explained in quite detailed fashion about his inspiration and creative process. 

The text is erudite and more formal than casual, but always understandable and accessible. The photography is glorious, often breathtaking and filled with inspiration and takeaway lessons for readers no matter what size and shape their gardens. The chapters cover individual areas of the plantings and highlight photos show particular specimens in situ (with botanical nomenclature included). 

This is an inspiring and educational book, full of usable advice and help. Since the book is absolutely full of color photographs and the text is relatively small and densely packed, I strongly recommend a color monitor or the hardcover format. I tried accessing the book on three different e-readers and whilst compatibility wasn't an issue, the full effect of the photography was much diminished. 

Five stars. Lots and lots (and lots) of inspiration. Aesthetically one of the better garden inspiration books I've seen lately.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

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