SECRET GARDENS OF FRANCE by Mirabel Osler
This is an idiosyncratic tour of private French gardens. Mirabel Osler, who won the Sinclair Garden Writer of the Year Award in 1988, follows a trail which covers the length and breadth of France in search of "truly passionate French gardeners". She describes the garden of Madame Simonet, who distils the fragrance of her plants, the older roses of Monsieur Eve and the topiary of Madame Vesian. There are ancient gardens struggling to survive and modern gardens a few years old, gardens eccentric and conventional, traditional and cosmopolitan, of every size from a tiny backyard to an entire island off the north-west coast.