If you have a passion for plants and traveling, then Gardenlust is the book for you! And if you don’t, this book will definitely spark some interest in at least one of them!
Do you ever have the desire to quit your job and travel to see the world? That’s exactly what the author, Christopher Woods, did. A London native who moved to the United States in the 80s, his love for plants grew from a young age. He has worked in the “garden world” for 45 years, as a gardener, designer, and director. Christopher wrote Gardenlust to showcase the unique gardens he has discovered on his travels. He says, “I want everyone else to fall in love with our world too, and with gardening’s potential for adding beauty to the world.”
As a lover of travel myself, this book inspired even more travel bug! Honestly, I don’t know too much about plants and have not visited many gardens in my life, but after reading this book, I gained a new appreciation for large scale gardens. The author writes about 50 different gardens that he has personally visited himself, spanning six continents. The types of gardens in the book vary from public, botanic, private estates, and even landscape buildings. Woods focuses solely on contemporary gardens. For each garden, he addresses the question, “how will garden design progress in the future?” He captions each photo with the Latin names and common names for the plants featured, which is super helpful for someone like me!
I enjoy the variety of gardens Woods includes in this book. He does a great job switching up the design styles to keep readers interested. “The Miracle Garden” in Dubai with its petunia archway, and the “Chihuly Garden and Glass” in Seattle, highlights how sculptures can be a beautiful complement to your plants. Super interesting is a landscape building located in Australia, called “One Central Park.” Woods admits there’s something about this garden that’s “a little sad about trumpeting the containment of nature.” I appreciate his honesty, although still think this new trend is really fascinating because so many of us live in urban environments and still yearn for living things around us. He predicts this type of garden is the new fad of the 21stcentury.
After reading Gardenlust and discovering new gardens and how they are designed, it gave me some inspiration on how I would want to design my own garden! As mentioned in the above paragraph, "Chihuly Garden and Glass" in Seattle was one of my favorite gardens to read about and was filled with beautiful images. Something I would love to do is fill my garden with glass sculptures. Other elements he highlights are wind chimes, modern outdoor bench, and a uniquely textured planter. Any of these design tips will give your garden a contemporary feel and look!
His purpose for writing this book is for his readers to “go outside and play in the beautiful cultivated and uncultivated places of the world.” I hope this book inspires a little wander & garden lust! So, pack your bags and take this book as your carry on and head off to see some of the most beautiful gardens in the world!
Garden Design Shopping List
Gardenlust encourages current and future plant and travel enthusiasts to go out into the world and explore everything it has to offer. It has a dual purpose of showcasing many beautiful plants from around the world, as well as a mini travel guide highlighting:
· 50 descriptions of different types of gardens (public parks, botanic gardens, private estates, city yards)
· 6 continents full of gardens
· Photography of plants with their Latin and common names
· Background information about each garden, their location, and the gardener (for example, the climate, size, where the gardener is originally from, etc.)
· Plant care information (for example, change of color due to how much sunlight or how tall it gets)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Woods was born in London, England, where his plant obsession began when he was just a little kid. His first job as a gardener was at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and he hasn’t left the business since. He has worked all over, from Wales, to Sussex, and then finally the United States, where he currently resides in California. Woods is most known for working as Director and Chief Designer at the Chanticleer Garden in Philadelphia for 20 years.
As he says about Gardenlust, “It is a love letter to the planet and to the people who have dared to create beauty, who have devoted their lives to helping others learn to see that beauty.”
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