|Photographer: Alain Le Toquin; Text: Jacques
Gardens are unique creations, reflecting not only
the landscape, flora, and climate of their environments
but also the heritage -- the history, architectural
styles, and influences -- of the cultures that made
them. From the fountain gardens of the Iranian desert
to the whimsical "Garden of Cosmic Speculation" in
Scotland, from the Zen gardens of Buddhist temples to
the Impressionist gardens in Giverny, the huge variety
of gardens around the globe is a testament to our age-old
desire to tame and refashion nature.
In The Most Beautiful Gardens in the World Le
Toquin celebrates the diversity of these manmade landscapes,
capturing 32 of the greatest public and private gardens
on five continents, including Majorelle in Morocco,
the Versailles gardens outside Paris, the Keukenhof
flower show park in The Netherlands, and the Huntington
Gardens in California.
With more than 150 images and 12 gatefolds featuring
spectacular panoramic photographs, this gorgeous book
will captivate travellers and garden admirers alike.
|From Publishers Weekly
Gorgeous photographs by French luminary le Toquin render this impressive
coffee-table tome one of the most awe-inspiring garden books in years,
and lively text by Bosser only heightens its appeal. The book's scope
is grand--encompassing such exotic locales as Morocco, Singapore and New
Zealand--but perhaps the most breathtaking photographs are of the unexpected
garden havens in Iran. "The Persian garden was not designed for strolling.
The prince was carried in his sedan chair to an open pavilion or to the
edge of a pool to mediate, hear music, write verse or listen to recitations," Bosser
writes when describing the ancient water garden of Bagh-e Fin. Fold-out
sections provide panoramic views of such escapes as the jewel-toned gardens
of Yves Saint Laurent's labyrinthine Marrakech oasis and a kitchen garden
in Loire Valley, France, in which vibrant green, leafy cabbages take on
the beauty of blossoms. Le Toquin displays his love of the more playful
side of garden architecture in a stop at the Nymphaeum of Villa Visconti
Borromeo Litta outside Milan, a stone pavilion built over a spring and
decorated heavily with (what else?) stone nymphs, and makes the unusual
choice of capturing the gardens of Versailles in winter; snow blankets
the nude statuary and offers a unique view of the gardens' "bones." With
its sumptuous full-color photographs, this visual tour is a necessary
indulgence for armchair gardeners. A detailed section providing the location
and contact information for nearly all the public gardens featured also
makes it a handy reference for readers whose ambitions--and resources--equal
le Toquin's own.
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