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Penelope Hobhouse, the legendary authority on garden history, composes a beautifully crafted, lavishly illustrated history of gardening over millennia. From the cooling fountains of the Alhambra to the clean lines of the French parterre, The Story of Gardening draws fascinating connections among gardens across time and place. Hobhouse addresses styles and techniques from all over the world, revealing the origins of the world's most magnificent gardens. Award-winning journalist and garden historian Ambra Edwards worked alongside Hobhouse to bring this comprehensive classic up-to-date with today's most recent garden developments and trends.
About the Author
Penelope Hobhouse is a garden writer, garden designer, garden historian, lecturer and gardener. For fourteen years until 1993 with her husband, Professor John Malins, she was in charge of the National Trust Gardens at Tintinhull House in Somerset. Today she lives in Dorset and travels in Europe, Australia and the United States lecturing and designing gardens.
Penelope Hobhouse and Associates is a small design office in the west of England, with an associate Nan Sinton in Boston, USA.
Award-winning writer and garden historian, Ambra Edwards is the author of the National Trust's definitive history of English gardens, The Story of the English Garden, as well as the acclaimed Head Gardeners. Her work appears regularly in the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and leading garden journals and she has been named Garden Media Guild's Journalist of the Year three times and received Inspirational Book of the Year for Head Gardeners at the Garden Media Guild Awards.
"An inspiring history that charts the fascinating evolution of gardening over thousands of years, bringing to life the world's most beautiful and magnificent gardens. Acclaimed garden designer and authority on garden history Penelope Hobhouse joined by garden historian Ambra Edwards show readers how an appreciation of style and techniques from all over the world and through the ages helps us to understand how modern gardens have developed."
- Triangle Gardener
"Organized geographically, then chronologically, this pithy resource explores notable gardens as sources of food and medicine, beauty, and art. Sumptuous illustrations and photographs let readers meander down delightful visual paths or plow into focused chapters on topics such as Islamic, Chinese, and Italian Renaissance gardening, as well as visions of the future." - Library Journal,
"The engaging voice of Penelope Hobhouse leads you through a few thousand years of garden history from its earliest recorded existence in Mesopotamia through today's trends. Beautifully illustrated, it is easy to dip in and out to visit specific time periods, gardens, or garden makers. The last chapter dives into modern garden trends including ecological landscaping, naturalistic gardening, and the New Perennial Movement. Hobhouse also threads the history of people and plants through each chapter, reflecting on the origins of garden styles."
- The American Gardener
"After finishing [The Story of Gardening], I wanted to rush out and create something marvelous, or at least see some of the gardens featured in the book that I have yet to visit."
- The Washington Post
"It's an opportune time for an update to this lavishly illustrated history of gardening and landscaping. The Story of Gardening might sit (heavily) on a coffee table, but it transports the reader out into the yard or the park with some new perspectives and ambitions. We all appreciate green space more than ever these days. As always, gardens offer the promise of beauty, serenity, artistry and practicality. They're also a relatively safe place to spend time, and gardening as a pursuit has taken off in the age of coronavirus."
- Associated Press
"Breathtaking...As much a showcase of gardening styles and techniques from around the globe as it is a history, The Story of Gardening is an irreplaceable contribution to gardening literature."
- Foreword Reviews
"This fabulously illustrated volume starts with the ancient Sumerians and takes readers through history by way of the styles, techniques and philosophies of gardening in cultures around the world....Any reader will appreciate the amazing visuals, including gorgeous photography of significant gardens all over the world and art featuring plants and gardens from throughout history. The true enthusiast will enjoy digging in for both unexpected tidbits and a context that's much broader than expected."
- Shelf Awareness
"One book that will provide several days of enjoyment is "The Story of Gardening" by Penelope Hobhouse with Ambra Edwards, an update of Hobhouse's 2002 book....The Garden of Eden gets a mention, but the book truly begins with actual gardens that existed starting some 5,000 years ago so in Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent. Going in roughly chronological order, Hobhouse and Edwards describe the creation of gardens in the past and note how they have affected gardens that are being created today."
- Portland (Maine) Press-Herald
"This gorgeous coffee table book to devour during the winter months will take you on a cultural history of famous gardens from around the world."
- Red Tricycle