“Adventures in Eden: An Intimate Tour of the Private Gardens of Europe” by Carolyn Mullet ($40, Portland-based Timber Press, preorder for Dec. 8 release): This is an exquisite photographic tour of 50 inspirational gardens, from the British Isles to Italy and Greece. Many are accessible to the public. Some are intimate retreats.
Most are designed by brilliant landscape architects such as Tom Stuart-Smith of England, Andy Malengier of Belgium and Louis Benech of France. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation was created by the late landscape architect and theorist Charles Jencks at his home, Portrack House, in Dumfriesshire, Scotland.
“Size or status had nothing to do with the choices, but passion, plantmanship and creativity has meant everything,” writes author, landscape designer and tour guide Mullet of Maryland-based Carex garden design and and Carex Tours.
Each garden “visit” in the 332-page, hardcover book begins with a fascinating description of the current state of the garden, its history and singular development.
And then there are the photographs. Light, color, shape and perspective are elements of these beautiful visuals. Some are close-ups of small blossoms. Others show expansive scenery of rolling hills and trees. All truly tell a story.
Every garden is showcased in its unique glory. Paths, terraces, water features and patios are artistically captured as are buildings tucked among the lush landscapes. Some gardens contain a specific kitchen garden. Others have wildlife roaming within their borders.
“Adventures in Eden” is a captivating guide to gorgeous gardens, each as diverse as its origins, each as lovely as the other.
— Sally Peterson