The History of Gardens by Christopher Thacker
The spirit of a race or an age can be reflected even in the choice and use of plants: with the coming ofZen Buddhism, the Japanese practically ceased to grow flowers in their gardens, an attitude which Le Notre, garden designer ofVersailles, who once said 'flowers are for nursemaids' would doubtless have appreciated. In this fascinating and highly informative book, Christopher Thacker tells the history of gardens from their origins in the 'natural' paradises of Greek myth to the present day. Studying individual gardens or garden topics which are rep ntative of an age or region, he builds up a comprehensive survey of the gardens and garden theories of an era. Whether Dr Thacker is discussing garden philosophers and designers (Alberti, Mollet, de Vries, Capability Brown, Genrude Jekyll, Russell Page, and many others), or bringing to life the lost gardens of the past, like the Yuan Ming Yuan in Peling, or William Shenstone's the Leasowes, or surveying the weird and mysterious statuary of Bomarzo, his text is always absorbing and authoritative. Profusely illustrated, this book should become a classic on its subject.