by Jane Billinghurst
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A delightful mélange of writing and images that explores our passion for gardens. Why are we so passionate about gardens, and what do they represent? In chapters titled “Shades of Paradise,” “Statements and Style,” “Gardens for Body and Soul,” “Gardeners Rampant,” and “Purely for Pleasure,” this fabulous collection of prose and visuals looks at gardens throughout history and across cultures from many angles, celebrating their sensual, spiritual, aesthetic, social, and even political dimensions.
"The Armchair Book of Gardens: A Miscellany," really is a treasure book. Gathered here are some of the most unforgettable (or rarely tripped-upon) passages of garden writing and garden imagery. It's about as perfect as if we sat down amid the springtime beds and were told to click our heels and dream up a picture-perfect bouquet. Only this comes between covers (with end papers to make you swoon, they are so beautiful). - Barbara Mahany, Tribune Newspapers.
Writers from around the world evoke the garden in its many incarnations, sometimes lightheartedly, sometimes wittily, sometimes expressing regret or sorrow. Whether the selections portray the garden as a restorative retreat, a way to survive, a social showpiece, a bower filled with ghosts, a place to wrestle down weeds, or a lovely excuse to spend time outdoors, readers will delight in the endless ways humans have carved out a spot for themselves from the natural world.
Complete with full-color historical and contemporary images, this attractive volume makes a great gift for readers of all kinds. Like a garden itself, The Armchair Book of Gardens blooms with heady offerings, providing flowery fantasies, patches of wildness, sensuous surprises, and satisfaction for the soul.
About the Author
Jane Billinghurst is the author of numerous nonfiction books, including Temptress: From the Original Bad Girls to Women on Top. Since 2005 she has been a coordinator at the Washington State University Skagit County Extension Master Gardener Discovery Garden. She lives in Anacortes, Washington.
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Lyons Press; First edition (April 1, 2011)