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Shades of Green


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About the Author

Written by the retired national Trust's Head of GardensThe story is told through the authors work on 50 of the best know National Trust gardensThe author holds the highest honour awarded by the Royal Horticultural Society - the Victoria Medal and is the Vice president of the RHSMajor UK publicity and marketing campaign


"[A]n exceptional new book...I recommend it to all garden visitors, garden historians and connoisseurs of the human race. . . . It is written with winning modesty and quiet humour but it throws a fascinating light on the vexed questions of garden 'conservation', the aims of the National Trust and the nature of gardening for the long term."--Robin Lane Fox "Financial Times ", `In each case, writing with humour and fluidity, he has tried to draw out the specific lessons learned at each property. His descriptions are clear, well written and frequently amusing, with the occasional acerbic comment thrown in...Above all, John's pleasure in his work and in the successes achieved under his watch make this a fascinating book, so much more than simply a guide to the properties or a memoir of the man who cared for them. I think you will enjoy it!' Sue Tasker, Professional Gardener, `Sales's appointment by the NT was inspired, because he possesses both the sense and the sensibility to know when to restore, and when to replace, and when to leave well alone. His book encapsulates his experience, his philosophy and his wisdom' Historic Gardens Review, 'It is...a considerable privilege to read the memoirs of John Sales, for many years Head of Gardens for the National trust ...and now gives us the distilled benefit of his wisdom as an elder statesman...he s a master of the art of telling home truths with a twinkle in his eye...Anyone who was concerned that the author might feel obliged to tread carefully can rest assured that the old disarming frankness is undimmed. Anyone who wishes to understand how the gardeners of the trust became the keepers of so many outstanding treasures between 1971 and 1998 should read this marvellous book' Steven Desmond, Country Life, `You can understand why so many head gardeners think so highly of John Sales, former head of gardens at the National Trust. The admiration is mutual. It is rarely the genius of a single individual that makes a great garden, he writes, `but the pursuit of a unique ideal persistently sought and perfected.' He is unstinting in his praise for the talented head gardeners with whom he has worked, just as he pulls no punches in excoriating the forces he sees as inimical to this study of 50 projects, we see the birth of the new discipline of historic garden conservation...The book is a testament to his incredible tenacity and clarity of vision, and his wisdom, charm and wry humour shines through its pages' Ambra Edwards

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