Paula Deitz has delighted readers for more than thirty years
with her vivid descriptions of both famous and hidden landscapes.
Her writings allow readers to share in the experience of her
extensive travels, from the waterways of Britain's Castle Howard to
the Japanese gardens of Kyoto, and home again to New York City's
Central Park. Collected for the first time, the essays in Of
Gardens record her great adventure of continual discovery, not
only of the artful beauty of individual gardens but also of the
intellectual and historical threads that weave them into patterns
of civilization, from the modest garden for family subsistence to
major urban developments. Deitz's essays describe how people, over
many centuries and in many lands, have expressed their originality
by devoting themselves to cultivation and conservation.
During a visit to the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal
Harbor, Maine, Deitz first came to appreciate the notion that
landscape architecture can be as intricately conceived as any major
structure and is, indeed, the means by which we redeem the natural
environment through design. Years later, as she wandered through
the gardens of Versailles, she realized that because gardens give
structure without confinement, they encourage a liberation of
movement and thought. In Of Gardens, we follow Deitz down
paths of revelation, viewing "A Bouquet of British Parks:
Liverpool, Edinburgh, and London"; the parks and promenades of
Jerusalem; the Moonlight Garden of the Taj Mahal; a Tuscan-style
villa in southern California; and the rooftop garden at Tokyo's
Mori Center, among many other sites.
Deitz covers individual landscape architects and designers,
including André Le Nôtre, Frederick Law Olmsted, Beatrix Farrand,
Russell Page, and Michael Van Valkenburgh. She then features an
array of parks, public places, and gardens before turning her
attention to the burgeoning business of flower shows. The volume
concludes with a memorable poetic epilogue entitled "A Winter
Garden of Yellow."
Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History
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