The Artful Garden

The Artful Garden

Creative Inspiration for Landscape Design

Book - 2011
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Guided by world-renowned landscape architect James van Sweden and horticulture expert Tom Christopher, any gardener can learn the secrets of the gardener's art and absorb the essence of inspired garden design. In their gifted hands, creating your own perfect garden, with its own alluring mysteries, turns out to be not only easy but a delight.Whether it's a ten-foot-square city terrace or a ten-acre expanse, the same principles apply- the intelligent use of positive and negative space, of form and scale, of light and shadow, of rough and smooth textures. Do you want a garden you can immerse yourself in? A garden you can smell and listen to as well as observe? An exuberant garden or a contemplative garden?In this elegantly written and visually stunning book, van Sweden reveals the secrets of famous gardens around the world and encourages you to find inspiration in the arts-in painting (from America's classic regional artists to the abstract expressionists), music (from classical to jazz), sculpture, even dance. He introduces you to famous artists who share how their art has influenced the design of their own gardens, and teaches you to think not in terms of borders and beds or even paths and meadows but of a tapestry woven from sky, trees, rocks, vines, flowers, grasses, and space.Richly illustrated throughout with magnificent photographs, The Artful Garden both tells and shows, sharing with beginning and experienced gardeners a wealth of inspiration and practical help. "What's my message?" van Sweden asks in conclusion. The wise answer- "Don't squander the potential for surprise and wonder." This beautiful book guarantees everyone who reads it a priceless store of gardening wisdom.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2011.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781400063895
Characteristics: xxxi, 188 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 27 cm
Additional Contributors: Christopher, Thomas


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Feb 24, 2011

I just checked this book out today and have read halfway through and cannot rave enough! I am an artist. A degree carrying fine artist. And I have always worked in the garden with the continual thought that it was just an extension of my art-making. This book is the first I've seen to confirm that seemless line between garden, art, and music. Interviews with Yoyo Ma and Jack Lenor Larson... oh, and Piet Oudolf... they are excellent! The images are also wonderful - everything from garden views to paintings. Inspiring quotes throughout. I only wish the author had other books penned under his name. I want to rush back to the library and see/read more and more... I will wait, but I hope there is a follow-up book. Gardens are a truly artful exercise. A commitment to beauty, line, design, form, and sculpture in it's most intimate shape... true sculpture you live with each day.


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Feb 24, 2011

"It's worth noting that the interrelationship of gardening with the other arts was taken for granted throughout much of the field's history. When Pope Clement VII wanted a spiritually inspired garden for the villa he was building at the edge of Rome, he naturally turned to the artist who was painting frescoes on the walls of the Vatican, the artist known today as Raphael (and to his contemporaries as Raffaello Sanzio). Why not The genius for color, composition, and perspective, the understanding of human nature the artist had already demonstrated in his painting were just as important in the design of a garden."

"All gardening is landscape painting." - Alexander Pope (quoted in this book)

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