I am in withdrawal. This is the time of winter when a few visits to the Dartmouth Greenhouse sustain me and provide a stepping stone to spring. With the greenhouse closed, no book can exhale that warm, fragrant air, but at least the eyes can feast. Herewith, three gardening books from the new books area.
Inside Outside: A Sourcebook of Inspired Garden Rooms, by Linda O’Keefe, is a tour of defined garden spaces from around the world. Its intent is practical: sections entitled Space, Structure, Movement, Mood, Furniture, and Time guide one toward a conception of the elements of garden spaces. But the effect is pleasure. Space after verdant space unfurls before the mind’s eye.
Likewise, Japanese Gardening: A Practical Guide to Creating a Japanese-Style Garden with 700 Step-By-Step Photographs, by Charles Chesshire, is meant to instruct. Whether one is looking to design in the pond garden style, the dry garden style, the tea garden style, the stroll garden style, or the courtyard garden style, this is your book. But the endless series of photographs transports one to a place of serenity whether one intends to build a garden or no. Gates, stone lanterns, pools, stepping stones, moss–even the discrete elements of the Japanese garden inspire and delight.
But for pure visual ravishment, spend a little time with Adventures in Eden: An Intimate Tour of the Private Gardens of Europe. There are the usual suspects–England, France, Spain–all lushly and magnificently photographed, but also gardens of Scandinavia, Germany, the Netherlands, in styles I couldn’t have anticipated with accuracy.
If there were ever a winter in which other things have to stand in for travel, this is it. Make a cup of tea, put your feet up, and dream.