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The Education Of A Gardener (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback – July 3, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: New York Review Books Classics
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: NYRB Classics; New York Review Books Classics edition (July 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590172310
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590172315
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #507,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Page, one of the great landscape gardeners, covers a lot of ground-literally and figuratively-as he shares his knowledge and experience in this heavily illustrated volume. First published in 1962, this edition contains more photos than the original, many from Page's private files.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Page was one of the 20th century's legendary landscape gardeners. This classic memoir, first published in 1962, is filled with charming anecdotes and timeless gardening advice." -Library Journal

“A classic of garden literature.” —The Los Angeles Times

“Page is one of the most respected gardening experts in the world.” —The Washington Post

“It is beyond dispute that Russell Page, an Englishman now in his 77th year, has designed more gardens for more people in more parts of the world than anyone in history…He has moreover had for many years an underground celebrity as a master of English prose, on the strength of his book The Education of a Gardener.”The New York Times (John Russell)

“Russell Page was one of the most gifted landscape architects in history…Page’s erudition also extended to writing, as this book demonstrates. Three hundred and sixty three pages of design advice can be reduced to this: Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder; it is a quality based on sound artistic and aesthetic principles. Applying those principles–now that’s the hard part, even in Page, in his genius, makes it look easy.” —The Washington Post Book World

“One of the most eloquent of all horticultural testaments. —The Sunday Telegraph (London)

“Literary types will enjoy The Education of a Gardener by Russell Page…a landmark exposition, first published in 1962, of garden design principles by one of the 20th century’s leading landscape designers.” —The Toronto Star

“Something of a classic, a manual on the art of the garden by a man who designed them for over 50 years, but also much more…” —The Times (London) (Sean French)

“I never travel far without Russell Page’s Education of a Gardener, one of the most thoughtful and civilized gardening books ever written, by a master designer.” —The Daily Telegraph (London)

“Russell Page was one of the great English landscape architects of this century…His book The Education of a Gardener remains, in my view, the best combined guide to planting and designing a garden ever written, with inspiration for every sort of gardener, wherever they are placed. The last chapter on his own dream garden is brilliant.” —The Independent (London)

“Whatever has happened to garden writing? By that I mean literature, books that one picks up in the same way that one would a novel or biography for a good read, confident of the quality of its prose…Going to my bookshelves, I pull down Russell Page’s The Education of a Gardener or Vita Sackville-West’s In Your Garden…Virtually no pictures in any of them. We recognize all of these as somehow belonging to a golden age of garden writing.” —The Times (London) (Roy Strong)

“Page had a great talent and a sensitivity not only to different types of flora and to different climates, but also to the architectural requirements of gardens, both large and small…Combining a painter’s eye (his only formal training was in art) with a pragmatic and encyclopedic knowledge of horticulture, he produced gardens that were–are–extraordinarily lovely.” —New York Times (Witold Rybczynski)

“From garden design to individual plants, he invests everything with beauty and wonder.” —The Sunday Times (London)

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Customer Reviews

This man who achieved so much comes across as so humble in this book.
Carolina Girl
Pages projects are immense, but the principles apply to all good gardens of any size.
Elizabeth Norman
A classic book, well written, and unlike anything I've read in a long time.
Julia Kraft

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Crow on June 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
this book is a cultural treasure, but then i am a long-time admirer of russell page, his sensitivity to site and his knowledge as a plantsman. while he tried to make good garden design accessible to more people conceptually, aesthetically, and financially, there remain some recommendations that are clearly out of reach of the ordinary person. however, his approach can be adapted to any any size of garden and any budget. recommended for its beautiful prose alone, i will read this book again and again for its depth of understanding of all aspects of garden design.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Julia Kraft on February 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
Page gives the reader strategies for learning plant names, remembering designs so you can recall them later, and gives a lot of opinions that ring true to me about style. A classic book, well written, and unlike anything I've read in a long time. More than instructional, inspirational. Sure to be a favorite. A gem.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By K. Mulcahy on December 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's been no better book written about the art of designing a beautiful landscape, IMO. While few of us can relate to mansions on the Riveria or expansive town gardens in Paris, the principles Mr. Page talks about are an accessible distillation of a lifetime of intense planting, looking and thinking. If nothing else, experiencing this rigorous and disciplined artist is an incredible inspiration.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Beth in Iowa on January 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Education" is an autobiography of a life spent designing gardens, mostly in Europe and England. Russell Page (1906-1985) is today regarded as one of the great landscape designers of the 20th century. Born in England, he designed small gardens in Paris, formal gardens for French chateaux and great English houses, and cliffs-edge gardens on the Mediterranean. His clients included kings, duchesses and barons, captains of industry, museums and public gardens. The book is a fascinating historical glimpse into a rarefied world that most of us will never otherwise encounter, and it is written with the wit and command of the English language displayed by the men and women educated before WWII at British public schools.

However, it is not a book from which the average person, who likes to plant a few flowers and veg on his little plot, will learn about "how to garden." Rather, it is advice about how to design landscapes for other people.

A major detraction is that the book contains only a very limited number of small, black and white photos of gardens that Page designed. Gardening is largely a visual art, and it was difficult to picture the gardens that Page lengthily tried to describe. Art books need reproductions of the art, not just verbal descriptions of it.

Also, I found it pretty hard-going to slog through paragraphs listing numerous Latin names of species that don’t grow in colder zones and that I therefore have no familiarity with.

But the major impediment to the book’s usefulness to ordinary gardeners is Page's ascetic restraint in use of materials. His mission was to decide the main feeling of a place (the genius loci), and remove nearly everything else. This required a strictly limited palette of plants and other materials.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By df on September 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This reflection of Russell Page on his lifelong work as a gardener for himself and others is full of great information, principles on designing gardens, and tips for developing a garden that is right for the owner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By selfdiscoveryportal.com on September 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My introduction to Russell Page was in Michael Pollan's "Second Nature: A Gardener's Education," a book about gardening and grandparents applied to the philosophy of living. Pollan's praise of Russell Page stirred my curiosity, and since I couldn't get Page's book through my local library's state network, I ordered a copy from Amazon. And I haven't been disappointed. Page was a 20th century English genius who studied, designed and planted gardens around the world. His book describes his life as a garden creator, both in terms of sites and plants but also in terms of the mental process involved. As with Temple Grandin describing her mental processes involved in building stockyard facilities, the insight into mental genius provides inspiration for broadening my mind's problem-solving aptitude.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gramma K on August 3, 2013
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I've learned a lot from this book about why I like some gardens and not others, about what I've done right and wrong in my own gardens. His experiences are fascinating and on a large (and expensive) scale, but still there are little gems that apply across the board. He gardened for many years, mostly in England and Europe--the plants he could use do not always work in my climate, but still there are the principles. He's also an interesting person. I visited the Pepsico gardens, which he designed, now I would like to go back with a greater appreciation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Newton Fawcett on July 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
I went through a period when I read all the books having to do with Landscape gardening I could get my hands on. I local landscape architect recommended this one. It was the best, in the sense that I learned the most from it. Now I am ordering a copy to give to my young gardener, Zach, to read. It would be nice to have more photographs illustrating Page's work and its principles, but having the photos in black and white works well for their purpose, because Page's work was more about form, juxtaposition of masses, and composition than about color.
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