Perry's Perennial Pages

Perennial Publications--History

Main page, New
Basics, Encyclopedias
History
Pests and Problems
Design
Plants, General
Plants, Specific
Other

The Plants that shaped our Gardens
David Stuart.  2002.  Francis Lincoln. hardcover 208pp.
British writer, botanist and nurseryman, this author approaches the development of our gardens from a different perspective than most books, that the major influence was the plants themselves.  Through the chapters on various garden types, such as bedding or herbaceous borders or American (that is those in Europe devoted to American plants), he mentions explorers, some of the pivotal plants and their influences on each garden type.  As such this book is part garden history, part fascinating history of many of our garden plants.  The importance of diversity and new plant introductions to our gardens, and our gardens and role as gardeners to preserving the world's plant genetic diversity, is an underlying theme.

Gertrude Jekyll at Munstead Wood
Judith Tankard and M. Wood. 1996.  Sagapress. hardcover 201pp.
The authors are well-published writer and lecturer on garden history, and British garden consultant, respectively.  They give an insight into this most influential of British garden designers at the turn of the last century, through her life at her home in Munstead Wood for over 40 years.  This is done through her writings, scrapbooks, photos and drawings (many never published before) and interviews with others.  While most books merely discuss her gardening and practices, this covers as well her interests in photography, domestic arts, her methods and skills running a design business, and her work as a nurserywoman and market gardener.

Grounds for Pleasure
Denise Otis.  2002.  Abrams. hardcover, 347pp.
Subtitled "Four Centuries of the American Garden," this extensive reference covers just that.  In the first of the three main parts, she covers the history of American gardens chronologically, then in the second part by themes such as the enclosed garden and the vista garden.  Finally she covers several key 20th century gardens that have been part of, or shaped by, American garden history.  It is a large format book, lavishly illustrated mainly with color photos, but also some historic drawings, photos and maps.

The Story of Gardening
Penelope Hobhouse.  2002.  DK. hardcover, 468pp.
This is primarily an excellent book on garden history, the 13 chapters beginning with the origins in Persia and elsewhere, ending with those who are designing current gardens and setting the style.  Gardens illustrating each, from those of Islam to England to Asia and America, are shown through photos, manuscripts and art.  The influences of each period and region on subsequent periods including our gardens today is shown.  The influence of various collectors, explorers and their plants on garden design is covered.  The author is one of the world's most respected in gardening, as well as international garden designer.

The Plant Hunters.
Toby Musgrave, Chris Gardner and Will Musgrave.  1998 (1999 paper).  Ward Lock (UK), Sterling Publ. (US). 224pp, paper.  Subtitled Two Hundred Years of Adventure and Discovery Around the World, this book covers 10 of the most famous and influential plant explorers.  The adventures and trips of each are discussed, along with a few photos of their plants, the region, their trip, or the explorer.  At the end of each is a listing of their more famous plants introduced from the wilds of the world into cultivation.  Written by horticulturists and garden historians, this book gives a fascinating account of where many of our current garden plants came from, and all the effort to get them from the wilds.  It does give one a new appreciation for these plants in our gardens!

Grandmother's Garden-- more in-depth review
May Brawley Hill.  Harry Abrams, 1995.  240pp.  Covering the 50 years of gardening, as seen through the eyes of writers and artists, between the Civil War and First World War, this book is more than just an art book.  Written by an art historian, and avid gardener, it illustrates garden design and plants with both old black and white photos and color reproductions of art from American impressionists.

The New Traditional Garden-- more in-depth review
Michael Weishan. Ballantine, 1999. 335pp, hardcover. Probably one of the most complete references to come along on historic gardens and landscapes for the U.S., it is written by a well-qualified and well-known author. This book not only provides the historical background as other such books do, but blends it well with current needs and desires in the garden, and how to combine the two. As the dustcover well puts it, "Respectful of the past and mindful of contemporary needs and lifestyles, Weishan lays down the underlying principles for creating-- either from scratch or from the ghost of a lost garden-- a domestic landscape with purpose and personality."
 


Main page, New
Basics, Encyclopedias
History
Pests and Problems
Design
Plants, General
Plants, Specific
Other

 
Where am I?  Perry's Perennial Pages |  Publications