Modern Country Style: The English Country House Garden and Designing Gardens: Book Reviews

Hello, my scrumpets,

Today I have two last book suggestions for your Christmas wish-list before we crack on with some real Christmas action…

The first is The English Country House Garden by George Plumptre and photographs by Marcus Harpur (published by Frances Lincoln) which shares with us a whole gamut of gorgeous spaces, most of which (is that angels singing?!) are open to the public in one way or another, the National Trust, NGS or simply open their gates.
Kiftsgate Court Gardens in Chipping Campden has been created since 1920 and over three generations by Heather Muir, Diany Binny and Anne Chambers. It is open to the public, April to September

We’re taken, chapter by breathtaking chapter, through some of the most beautiful, I think its not too blushingly unEnglish to say, world-class gardens: Sissinghurst, Great Dixter and Hidcote (termed The Essentials) are all here, natch, but also, twenty other beauties, each every one of them jaw-droppingly stunning.

Yet The English Country House Garden isn’t just pretty pictures; in his highly readable and educational text George Plumptre reveals the Unfolding History, the Country House Garden Ideals and Personal Creations in subsequent chapters, showing that England really does do gardening very well indeed….which leads me nicely onto my second choice…
Arabella Lennox-Boyd’s Designing Gardens: this is one of those wonderful books that manages to inform and inspire at the same time. The first part of the book expounds garden design principles: structure, planting, planning and schemes, while the second part shares a huge range of gardens designed by Arabella.

That’s the basic premise in a nutshell but I feel it stops seriously short of revealing what an incredible resource this is. Arabella Lennox Boyd has been extremely generous in sharing so much of her hard-earned knowledge.

I love it that she’s very honest about the challenges she faces in each plot, and the solutions she finds, whether it can be measured in acres…

…or centimetres.

It’s easy to taste the passion in each page of Designing Gardens, some of these gardens have been worked on for nearly thirty years – that’s commitment for you!

{Tell Santa to click through on the links for each book!}

Now then….the festive season is calling….let’s get Christmassy…..

Images by Marcus Harpur and Andrew Lawson

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