ESTELLE SINKINS reviews Celebrating Gardens in Style by Sue Sandrock (Otterley Press)
MAN has been gardening in some form for thousands of years. In pre-history families started to improve their surroundings by identifying useful trees and vines to protect and eliminating plants that they considered undesirable.
Later, people began to enclose outdoor spaces to keep animals in and marauders out. These spaces developed, over time, into places which were created simply as aesthetic spaces.
“Enclosed gardens in ancient Persia were created mainly to provide a place for spiritual repose and serenity,” says Sue Sandrock in her book, Celebrating Gardens in Style. “Since the landscape there was arid and severe, trees were planted and pavilions built to create shade…
“Gardens in ancient Rome became the preserve of the wealthy. They built extensive gardens with water features, cultivated roses and topiary exhibits…
“And so gardens grew larger and grander keeping the wildness of nature at bay.”
In her book, Sandrock explores the origin and development of formal gardens, landscape gardens, cottage gardens and naturalistic gardens.
She also offers great advice on planning your own special space and what plants best suit these different styles. There is also plenty of interesting and informative information on everything from formal rose gardens to topiary, knot gardens, potagers, fruit gardens, and recycling.
The book is also well designed, easy to read and packed full of beautiful images. So, whether you are dedicated gardener, with the greenest of thumbs, or a novice, you will find this book engaging.
It is, quite simply, a true celebration of the beauty of gardens.