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Artists in Their Gardens Paperback – February 1, 2001

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anyone who has ever yearned for a garden more expressive than the usual beds, borders, and lawns should look no further than the nearest visual artist's home garden for inspiration. That's just what Valerie Easton and David Laskin do in Artists in Their Gardens. The authors profile 12 artists--glass blowers, ceramicists, painters, sculptors, and architects--and show that artists don't just break all the traditional rules, they approach the act of gardening as if there were no rules to begin with. Their stories and ideas provide multitudes of inspiration for the rest of us.

The artists featured have come up with decidedly different ways of doing things. For instance, painter Robert Bateman--famous for his paintings of wild animals in their environments--has created a garden so "natural" that it feels almost ancient. What is surprising is that he has done so using painstakingly fabricated fake rocks to create cliffs and a meandering stream that provide the backbone for this stunning space. Ceramicist Anne Hirondelle uses every horizontal space--indoors and out--as an opportunity for display. A stone bench, for example, holds a series of vessels that collect rainwater, reflect the sky, and provide a shimmering surface for floating blossoms. Glass artist Ginny Ruffner, not satisfied with an unadorned 4-foot stone head that rises out of the center of her garden, devised a canopy of bright pink blossoms that suggests a colorful bonnet or a cascade of flower hair.

The authors provide lovingly intimate portraits of the artists and their gardens. Stunning photographs by Allan Mandell show off these gardens for the works of art that they are, while a section in each chapter called "The Artist's Eye" shares tips and inspirations that readers will surely want to use in their own home gardens. After reading this book, you'll come away with not just inspiration and a few new ideas, but a whole new way of looking at the act of gardening. --Robin Donovan

From Library Journal

Easton (horticultural librarian, Univ. of Washington), author of the "Plant Life" column in the Seattle Times, and journalist Laskin team up with prize-winning garden photographer Mandell to portray the gardens of ten Northwest artists. While these working artists are less well known than those included in Bill Laws's Artists' Gardens (LJ 2/1/00), they are more intimately involved with the creation of their own gardens. The authors also offer more analysis of their subjects' art and how the artists' aesthetic senses influence their garden design. Each chapter concludes with a one-page summary called "the artist's eye," highlighting what makes each artist's vision unique. The gardens are all inspirational in the way they use color and design, the integration of art objects and plants, and an approach to using ornaments that is whimsical, to say the least. The glorious photography, which makes it seem as if the sun always shines in the Northwest, highlights a common urge for brightness and helps the reader visualize the artists' individualistic approach to gardening. This book offers a refreshing approach to what a garden can be and what it can contain. Recommended for all gardening collections. Daniel Starr, Museum of Modern Art, New York
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Sasquatch Books (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570612447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570612442
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 8.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,434,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Valerie Easton hasn't missed a week writing her weekly gardening column for the Seattle Times in 15 years. Her newest book is about how to make simple, naturalistic and organic bouquets from your garden that are the antithesis of overworked, overdone flower arrangements that are more about decorating than nature. She's written four earlier books; the most recent, The New Low-Maintenance Garden, was named one of the Ten Best Home and Garden Books of 2009 by Amazon.

Val's own low-maintenance garden, the muse for the book, has been published in The New York Times, This Old House, and Horticulture. She has contributed articles on gardens, homes, and the people who make them to a variety of magazines, including Metropolitan Home, Fine Gardening, and Gardens Illustrated. Valerie trained as a Master Gardener and was for eighteen years the horticultural librarian at the University of Washington in Seattle. She gardens, teaches yoga, and blogs (www.valeaston.com) in the village of Langley, on Whidbey Island, Washington.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Artists in Their Gardens is a book for the gardener who loves the garden as a means of self-expression. In the ten gardens described, each of us will find things we love, and perhaps things which disturb us. I love the austerity of potter Ann HIrondelle's garden, the zaniness of Lewis and Little's work, the majesty of Lee Kelly's monuments. I could never live with the kitsch of Leter and Barton, yet it is fascinating to see their artistic vision as developed in plants and plastic. The sections on The Artist's Eye helped me see how to translate these visions to my own garden. After all, in my own garden, I am the artist! This book encourages me to be daring in shaping my own garden vision.
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This book has very nice pictures. I bought it at the recommendation of one of the gardening blogs that I follow. I wouldn't say it is the best gardening book I've ever purchased but the price was VERY low and as "picture book" to leaf through when I'm having a cup of tea wishing for the winter to be over, it is a nice piece.
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Absolutely fantastic garden book with a totally different twist. Already incorporated several ideas in my backyard with great results.
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By Missymaam on November 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
nice
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Format: Paperback
The book is fantastic, inspiring and beautiful, but it literally fell apart after one (1) reading. How disappointing! The quality of the writing and the images did not extend all through the project, unfortunately.
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