Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Elegant Garden

Welcome to 2013!

Now that we have entered the winter months and most of us are spending more time indoors than out, it’s the perfect time to catch up on reading some exceptional gardening books. Buy one for yourself or the friend you might have forgotten during the holidays.

I recently had the pleasure of enjoying “The Elegant Garden: Architecture and Landscape of the World’s Finest Gardens,” by Johann Kräftner (Rizzoli International Publications, 2012), This gorgeous collection of photography is representative of magnificent architecture in the landscape and offers ways to create your own garden paradise by extracting ideas from international grand gardens of the past and present.
The Elegant Garden
Kräftner introduces gardens as “a place of eternal life,” referred to as paradise in the Middle East, and has included historical information on gardens throughout the world beginning in the eleventh century B.C., going so far as to reference the Garden of Eden.

The designs depicted in the photographs are defined in depth throughout the book. Ranging from classical to contemporary, by following principles in this text you can embody garden spaces and create your own “pleasure ground.” Castles, sculptures, formally trained shrubs, garden rooms, orchards, vegetables, Asian, European, Moorish, American, modern and classical landscape designs are all represented in this superbly illustrated, 430 page hardcover tome that contains photography that will spark ideas for your own property.

The hundreds of gardens in this book promise to instill confidence for do-it-yourselfers and help develop a better grasp of how to envision space. Creating your outdoor comfort zone and comfortably flowing from one garden space to another are clearly defined by photos. This book abounds in landscape design ideas from around the world, containing approximately 850 high quality, full color photographs and superlative historic interpretation – from Rome to the present and a view of what each culture in between considered aesthetically pleasing.

Recognizing that designs occur onsite and not simply on a piece of paper, personal style, planning, recognizing the bones of a garden, planting for 12-month interest, color, architectural features, balance, scale and spatial definition are some design principles quickly discovered by simply perusing this outstanding book. This book contains images ranging from formal to rural, showing them in winter, spring, summer and autumn.

This book is well suited for your coffee table. It is the perfect inspiration to keep you focused on your landscape during the winter months. The photography, international appeal and inspiration alone are worth it. Cost: $60.

©2013 Joel M. Lerner
Editor, Sandra Leavitt Lerner
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