Of Gardens

9780812223545: Paperback
Release Date: 8th March 2016

10 illus.

Dimensions: 155 x 235

Number of Pages: 384

Series Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture

University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

Of Gardens

Selected Essays

Of Gardens records a great adventure of continual discovery not only of the artful beauty of individual gardens and landscapes but also of the intellectual and historical threads that weave them into patterns of civilization. Deitz's vivid descriptions and recollections allow readers to share in the experience of her extensive travels.

Paperback / £21.99

Paula Deitz has delighted readers for more than thirty years with her vivid descriptions of both famous and hidden landscapes. Her writings allow readers to share in the experience of her extensive travels, from the waterways of Britain's Castle Howard to the Japanese gardens of Kyoto, and home again to New York City's Central Park. Collected for the first time, the essays in Of Gardens record her great adventure of continual discovery, not only of the artful beauty of individual gardens but also of the intellectual and historical threads that weave them into patterns of civilization, from the modest garden for family subsistence to major urban developments. Deitz's essays describe how people, over many centuries and in many lands, have expressed their originality by devoting themselves to cultivation and conservation.

During a visit to the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor, Maine, Deitz first came to appreciate the notion that landscape architecture can be as intricately conceived as any major structure and is, indeed, the means by which we redeem the natural environment through design. Years later, as she wandered through the gardens of Versailles, she realized that because gardens give structure without confinement, they encourage a liberation of movement and thought. In Of Gardens, we follow Deitz down paths of revelation, viewing "A Bouquet of British Parks: Liverpool, Edinburgh, and London"; the parks and promenades of Jerusalem; the Moonlight Garden of the Taj Mahal; a Tuscan-style villa in southern California; and the rooftop garden at Tokyo's Mori Center, among many other sites.

Deitz covers individual landscape architects and designers, including André Le Nôtre, Frederick Law Olmsted, Beatrix Farrand, Russell Page, and Michael Van Valkenburgh. She then features an array of parks, public places, and gardens before turning her attention to the burgeoning business of flower shows. The volume concludes with a memorable poetic epilogue entitled "A Winter Garden of Yellow."

Prologue. The Lure of the Porch in Summer:
Privacy and Pleasure

Designing Women: In-Depth View of Twentieth-Century Women Landscape Designers
Beatrix Farrand and The Bulletins of Reef Point Gardens
The Private World of a Great Gardener: Rachel Lambert Mellon
"Make the Land Work for You": Russell Page in America
Profile of Dan Kiley
Grounded in History: Deborah Nevins's Landscapes
Private Visions: The Gardens of Michael Van Valkenburgh
A Cultivated Civilization: Barbara Stauffacher Solomon's Drawings of Classical Gardens
Planting Plastic: Martha Schwartz Looks to Art for Inspiration
Resurrection: The Built Landscapes of George Hargreaves
A Twinkling Terrace that Reaches for the Stars: Kathryn Gustafson in New York and France
Landform Future: Laurie Olin and the Integration of Architecture and Landscape
A Feminist View of Landscapes: A Partnership with Nature

A Bouquet of British Parks: Liverpool, Edinburgh, and London
Central Park's Bethesda Terrace and Its Restoration
Summer in Central Park
For This Movie, Step into the Garden
Rooftop Formal Gardens at Rockefeller Center
Hortus Conclusus: The Gardens at the Cloisters
The IBM Garden Plaza
A Crystal Palace: Final Portrait of the Palm House
Gardens Fit for a Queen
Hartford's 1896 Rose Garden, Whose Ancestors Were Born in France
2,700 Roses Re-create Old Garden: The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden
A Victorian Gem Restored: The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
A Centennial Bouquet: The Botanic Garden of Smith College, 1895-1995
The Rose Garden at the White House
A New Memorial Squanders a Sparkling Opportunity
The Green Gardens of Jerusalem: Parks, Squares, and Promenades
Garden Letter from Greece: The Agora
The Moonlight Garden at the Taj Mahal
A Rare Garden in Barbados: Andromeda Gardens
Along a Nature and Garden Trail in Bermuda
A Walk in the Park Around Jinji Lake

The Poetics of the American Garden
1680 Formal Garden Discovered in the South
A Historic Colonial Plantation Recovered from the Rough
Fairsted: At Home with Frederick Law Olmsted
At Old Westbury, Gracious Gardens
Stately Views: A 1920s Garden Inspired by the Villa d'Este
Mediterranean Light: A Classic Italian Garden in California
Wethersfield: In the Style of an Italian Villa Garden
The American Academy in Rome
The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden: A Blend of Far Eastern and English Inspiration
Far East, Down East: A Classic Asian Landscape
A Cultivated Coast: The Garden at Somes Meadow
On Maine's Coast, Vistas Are Cast in Stone
Autumn in New England

The Painted Garden: William Kent's Rousham
Painshill Park: Charles Hamilton's Folly Garden
The Waterways of Castle Howard
Reclaiming Noble Gardens of the Towy Valley
Classic Garden Tames a Fierce Welsh Crag: Powis Castle
Buckhurst Park: From Humphry Repton to Edwin
Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll
Lanning Roper's English Gardens with a U.S. Flavor
Machine in the Garden: Charles Jencks's Garden of Scottish Worthies
Sitting in the Garden: A History

The Gardens of Versailles
An Echo of a Memory: Recultivating the Tuileries
The Formal Farm: Pascal Cribier's Vision of Rural Geometry
The Désert de Retz: Cultural History Through Architecture

Autumn in Japan
Japanese Screens and the Gardens of Kyoto
Balancing Act: A Contemporary Garden for Kyoto's Oldest House
Tea and Empathy: The Japanese House, Shofuso, in Fairmount Park
Rice Paddy in the Sky: Rooftop Garden at the Mori Center
Plum Blossoms: The Third Friend of Winter

Courson: French International Flower Sale
At Chelsea Flower Show: Gardens in Romantic Ruins
Free to Grow Bluebells in England: British Prisoners Win Gold Medal
A Garden Festival in Lausanne
Epilogue. A Winter Garden of Yellow

—John Dixon Hunt

Photography Credits

Paula Deitz is Editor of the Hudson Review. As a writer and cultural critic in the fields of art, architecture, design, and landscape design, she is a frequent contributor to the The New York Times, The Architectural Review, and Gardens Illustrated.

"In over 70 essays, covering places and people all over the world, Deitz fuses her emotional response perfectly with what must have involved a massive amount of historical, horticultural and literary research. For anyone jaded with reading about gardens, or (heaven forbid) with visiting them, her intelligent appreciation of gardens, new and old, must surely revive and inspire."—Historic Gardens Review

"Deitz applies a cool intelligence, formidable powers of observation, and extensive research to convey the experience of walking through her chosen landscapes and unearthing the layers of their creation."—Times Literary Supplement

"Though not intended as a guidebook, Of Gardens will bring readers to the conclusion that the next best thing to having Paula Deitz as their traveling companion on a forthcoming garden tour is to read the relevant essay in her book. In the manner of similar collections, this book might have been titled The Best of Deitz. And, as we have seen, the best of Deitz is very good indeed."—New Criterion

"This is a book for the savvy reader who enjoys an intelligent discussion of gardens without all the glossy eye-candy photographs that pervade most books today. . . . No matter what the subject is that catches Deitz's fancy, she always manages to draw her reader in without pomposity or jargon."—Landscape Architecture Magazine

"There aren't many garden books that can change your perceptions so subtly but forcefully; this one belongs in the library of every serious student of design"—New York Times

"When it comes to gardens of lavish beauty, a picture may truly be worth a thousand words. Rare is the text that can match this feat, but in her sumptuous essay collection, Deitz more than meets the challenge, crafting worlds so precise in their detail and lush in their imagery the effect is as dazzling as any rendered by an artist or photographer. Here are the iconic gardens of the world—the Taj Mahal's Moonlight Garden, Versailles, Kew Gardens—laid out in verdant glory that is made richer for Deitz's insider revelations of arcane aspects of design or development. Here, too, are the acclaimed landscape architects who made it all happen, with special attention paid to trailblazing women such as Beatrix Farrand and Deborah Nevins. A prolific journalist with vast interests in divergent yet mutually illuminating fields, Deitz masterfully celebrates the myriad attractions of gardens both great and small, public and private, and their ability to enrich, ennoble, and entertain."—Booklist