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"Discovering Welsh Gardens" by Stephen Anderton, Charles Hawes

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(Charles was finalist in Book Photographer of the Year, Garden Media Guild Awards 2009)
Fresh, exciting, lively, this is writing about gardens as you've never experienced it before. Gone are the bland descriptions, the clichéd praise, the tedious tour. Instead, opinionated, brave and intelligent pieces raise issues about the gardens concerned and thereby about all gardens of merit, Welsh or not. You don't need to be planning a trip to Wales to find this book about gardens in Wales an essential read.

Of Nant-yr-Eryd

"Wire stock fencing surrounds a convocation of young topiary pieces, set out in a more or less symmetrical fashion. The soil between them is bare but immaculately hoed. It is a school for topiary pieces, fenced in to stop them running off like piglets. It's bizarre, fascinating, and delightfully, ruthlessly masculine, just like the rest of the garden."

Of Plas Newydd:

“There is a freshness and unexpectedness about all of Plas Newydd. The house, when you reach it, has its back to you, eyes on the water. But then, like a sitting hen, it will flap one wing and there to one side is an arboretum; flap the other and there, with all too little relation to the house, are the terraces. Flap a bit harder and you get a rhododendron garden. Each piece of this garden is an island unto itself.”

Of Powis:

“Below these terraces of full-tilt gardening Powis runs into trouble again.. What was once the last three narrow terraces is now a rough grass bank….. It is difficult to mow and it makes a scruffy, inadequate plinth to the grand picture of the castle above it (imagine a Christmas cake sitting in a plate of stew and you get the picture.)

(extracts from "Discovering Welsh Gardens" )

Available from Amazon http://amzn.to/c3clKw

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  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Sat. 19th June 2010 12:49

Re: "Discovering Welsh Gardens" by Stephen Anderton, Charles Hawes

Reply from Steve Hipkin

This book is worth getting just for the incisive writing of Stephen Anderton, it is really refreshing to find a writer not only praising gardens but willing to be critical.

  • Posted: Mon. 21st June 2010 18:58