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A Gardener's Labyrinth

This book is a celebration of the characters who have practised, enriched and furthered the tradition of gardening in every corner of Britain, both garden designers and explorers, practitioners and writers. Not only does it include portraits of the people themselves but also their self portraits, as expressed in the gardens they have produced, which encompass the whole spectrum from formality to wilderness and from allotment to country house. It is a sequence of images that reveals a history of gardens through the eyes of those who have shaped them and in addition, explores the art of gardening today, an activity deep at the cultural heart of the nation. Following an Introduction, the book is divided into five sections, a visual and literary exploration of the British garden as seen from five distinct points of view. The Garden Proposed examines the attitudes and inspirations that inform contemporary garden design, from the visionary landscape garden created by architect Charles Jencks to new developments in British land art and the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay and Andy Goldsworthy. The Garden Described features leading garden historians and writers, accompanied by a compilation of key examples of the garden writing tradition in Britain. The Garden Planted recognises that the way plants are used, grouped and grown is both an art and a science, inexorably determining the way a garden looks and develops. Images explore the different worlds of plant husbandry, from nurserymen to specialist rose growers, the Chelsea Flower Show expert and the gifted amateur. The Garden Preserved reveals a particularly British aspect of gardens - the living heritage of great gardens in all their diversity. Portraits of gardens and their owners, head gardeners and garden pioneers, chart both the grandest restorations and the most dramatic transformations. The concluding chapter of the book, The Garden Explored, deals with the extraordinary tradition and continuing British excellence of plant scholarship, expeditions and exploration which, since the eighteenth century, has been a remarkable aspect of the British garden. While the book takes us visually through the seasons from winter to high summer and provides a testament to both the creativity of garden designers and to horticultural expertise, Traeger's collaborator, artistic director and writer Patrick Kinmonth provides a fascinating narrative that unravels the principles and philosophies that have informed these gardeners' work. Biographies of each of the 50 gardeners complete the book.
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About the Author

Trained at Guildford School of Photography and Fine Art, Tessa Traeger has worked at Rossetti Studios in London since the 1960s. She is known especially for her still-life photographs, taken on large format cameras, many of which were published during her long association with British Vogue. Her beautifully crafted images of the French hill farmers in the Ardeche, a project she worked on for seven years, have also been highly acclaimed. Her work is represented in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Bibliotheque National in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Citibank collection in London, as well as numerous private collections. Traeger has won many awards including D&AD Silver for European Publicity Still Life, the Andre Simon Book Award for A Visual Feast, and Association of Photographers Awards in London. She has exhibited regularly since 1978 in Paris, London and Hamburg as well as participating in many group shows. Patrick Kinmonth studied English at Oxford University and has since worked as art director, writer, critic, painter and designer. His many commissions for sets and costumes can be seen in opera houses from Vienna to London. Exhibition designs include Mario Testino Portraits (London, Milan, Amsterdam and Tokyo), which he also curated, and Howard Hodgkin Set Designs (Aldeburgh Festival, Suffolk) As Arts Editor of British Vogue, Kinmonth commissioned some of the most formidable photographers of the time - Bailey, Kertesz, Lartigue, Horst and Bruce Weber. In addition, he has written numerous catalogue appraisals and essays on artists and photographers from Craigie Aitchison and Patrick Procktor to the Snowdon retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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