Sunday, June 13, 2021

Under Western Skies: Visionary Gardens from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast

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Under Western Skies is a gorgeously photographed and inspirational coffee table book full of notable gardens in the western part of North America (mostly the USA, but some content from over the border in Canada). Released 11th May 2021 by Simon & Schuster on their Tiller Press imprint, it's 412 pages and is available in hardcover format.

This is a beautifully made and well laid out homage to the horticultural arts. The entries are lavishly illustrated, with many full page color photos. They represent a number of styles and aesthetics - mostly (but not all) on the grand scale. Nevertheless, there are a multitude of good inspirations for scaling down to use in our own domestic gardens. Each of the entries includes specific information about location, elevation, and place. The text entries also include short biographies about the originators/designers of each garden space. The geographic locations cover, refreshingly, a broader variety than many "western" horticultural books which are very California-centric. 

The appendices include links and resources lists for the design companies and public gardens. There is also a good cross-referenced index with standard botanical nomenclature alongside some common names, making information easy to find quickly.

Five stars. This would make a superlative selection for gardening aficionados, a special gift, students, designers/horticulturists, library use, or as a beautiful coffee-table book to enjoy and revisit. This one has high "re-readability". 

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

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