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The Story of Gardening: A cultural history of famous gardens from around the world

By Penelope Hobhouse with Ambra Edwards



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Author Penelope Hobhouse with Ambra Edwards
Binding Hardback
Date published September 2019
Number of pages 512
Publisher Pavilion Books
ISBN / Item No. 9781911595748


This gardening classic has been fully updated and revised.

From the cooling fountains of the Alhambra to the imposing palace grounds of Chinese emperors and the clean lines of the formal French parterre, this inspiring history charts the fascinating evolution of gardening over thousands of years, bringing to life the world's most beautiful and magnificent gardens. The Story of Gardening explains the origins of the most influential gardening styles. Acclaimed garden designer and plantswoman Penelope Hobhouse draws on her extensive experience and shows you how an appreciation of style and technique from all over the world helps us to understand how modern gardens have developed.

Unrivalled in its coverage and written with the author's characteristic clarity and authority, this exceptional book is guaranteed to appeal to gardening enthusiasts or all ages and levels of expertise.

Chapters include:

  • The Origins of Gardening: the gardens of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Persia.
  • Gardens of Ancient Greece and Rome: The beginnings of botany and herbalism and design developments in the Classical world.
  • The Gardens of Islam: the `fourfold' garden's spread from the Middle East.
  • The Medieval Gardens of Christendom: The layers of meaning in the gardens of the Middle Ages.
  • The Renaissance Vision in Italy: The transition from classical villa gardens.
  • The Flowering of the European Garden: Louis XIV's power-gardening.
  • Plants on the Move: Early plant enthusiasts who searched for new species.
  • The English Landscape Garden: The 18th century Landscape Movement.
  • The Eclectic 19th Century: European gardening during technological change.
  • The Americas Gardening's evolution on the American continent.
  • Gardens of China: Chinese gardening's links with the landscape and painting.
  • The Japanese Garden: Japanese design's influence on the rest of the world.
  • From Naturalism to Modernism: Pioneer voices as gardening goes global.
  • Visions of the Future: The faces shaping gardening in the 21st century.
© The Royal Horticultural Society 2017