A Japanese garden is immediately distinct to the eye from the traditional gardens of an English manor house, just as the manicured topiaries of Versailles contrast with the sharp cacti of the American Southwest. Though gardening is beloved the world over, the style of gardens themselves varies from region to region, determined as much by culture as climate. In this series of illustrated essays, John Dixon Hunt takes us on a world tour of different periods in the making of gardens. Hunt shows here how cultural assumptions and local geography have shaped gardens and their meaning. He explores our continuing responses to land and reworkings of the natural world, encompassing a broad range of gardens, from ancient Roman times to early Islamic and Mughal gardens, from Venetian gardens to Chinese and Japanese gardens, as well as the invention of the public park and modern landscape architecture. A World of Gardens looks at key chapters in garden history, reviewing their significance in past and present and tracing the recurrence of different themes and motifs in the design and reception of gardens throughout the world.
A World of Gardens celebrates the idea that similar experiences of gardens can be found in many different times and places, including sacred landscapes, scientific gardens, urban gardens, secluded gardens and symbolic gardens. Well illustrated and wide-ranging, this book is a treasure trove of ideas and inspiration.
John Dixon Hunt is Emeritus Professor of the History and Theory of Landscape at the University of Pennsylvania. He is editor of the journal Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, and the author of many books including The Afterlife of Gardens (Reaktion Books, 2004), Nature Over Again: The Garden Art of Ian Hamilton Finlay (Reaktion Books, 2008) and Art, Word and Image (with David Lomas and Michael Corris, Reaktion Books, 2010).
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