A delightful melange of writing and images that explores our passion for gardens.
Why are we so passionate about gardens, and what do they represent? In chapters titled Shades of Paradise, Statements and Style, Gardens for Body and Soul, Gardeners Rampant, and Purely for Pleasure, this fabulous collection of prose and visuals looks at the history of gardens and horticulture across cultures from many angles, celebrating their sensual, spiritual, aesthetic, social, and even political dimensions.
Writers from around the world evoke the garden in its many incarnations, sometimes lightheartedly, sometimes wittily, sometimes expressing regret or sorrow. Whether the selections portray the garden as a restorative retreat, a way to survive, a social showpiece, a bower filled with ghosts, a place to wrestle down weeds, or a lovely excuse to spend time outdoors, readers will delight in the endless ways humans have carved out a spot for themselves from the natural world.
Complete with full-colour historical and contemporary images depicting garden designs, this attractive volume makes a great gift for readers of all kinds. Like a garden itself, The Armchair Book of Gardens blooms with heady offerings, providing flowery fantasies, patches of wildness, sensuous surprises, and satisfaction for the soul.
Get lost in The Armchair Book of Gardens: A Miscellany by Jane Billinghurst, a collection of musings and art celebrating these oases. —Zoomer Magazine
Billinghurst has dug up an amazing collection of images—old botanical art, seed catalogues, Victorian paintings, Hindu, Muslim and Chinese master works, you name it. She intersperses these with tidbits of text by everyone from Gertrude Jekyll to Michael Ondaatje, and throws in a few gardening observations of her own . . . this is a lovely book to loaf with on a hot summer afternoon. —Toronto Star
The artwork alone makes this a delightful book to spend time with, but it is the variety of writers that provides its enduring appeal to garden lovers. —North Shore News
Billinghurst has collected poems, short stories and stunning portaits, and assembled them into a comprehensive representation of mankind and the gardens we love. —BC Living