You may think you've seen them all -- Dumbarton Oaks, Sissinghurst, Versailles, Ryoan-ji and many more. But how many of you have visited Junto Farm in the Hudson Valley of NY or Parc Clichy-Batignolles/Martin Luther King in Paris, Orpheus at Boughton House in Northamptonshire, UK or Gardens by the Bay and Parkroyal Hotel in Singapore?
You'll be ready to travel when you pick up Gardenlust: A Botanical Tour of the World’s Best New Gardens(Timber Press, 2018) by British plant expert Christopher Woods, former director and chief designer at Chanticleer Garden in Pennsylvania.
In the introduction to the books, Woods reports that his aim in this book is "a modern take on ... inherently interesting plants, fresh approaches to how to place them that result in the creation of something new or at least unconstrained by the weight of tradition ..."
He leaves almost nothing out. There are chapters on North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean; Europe; Africa and the Arabian Peninsula; India and Southeast Asia; Asia; Australia and New Zealand.
Aside from gorgeous photos, Woods describes each garden in detail and informs the reader who designed it. You'll encounter gardens by some familiar landscape architects like Raymond Jungles, Gustafson Porter, Carrie Preston, Richard Hartlage, Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough, and others by designers you've never heard of.
Woods puts it best in a poem at the beginning of the book:
And for the gardeners of the world.
You with the crazy eyes and rough hands.
You who are so much in love with growing things.
You artists and scientists, poets and painters, protectors and advocates.
You who fall in love again and again.
Every designer, everyone who loves gardens and plants will want a copy of this book. It's the first real comprehensive survey of fabulous 21st century gardens.