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The Medieval Garden Hardcover – May, 1996

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

How does one write about gardens that no longer exist? Landsberg, a garden historian and lecturer who has designed several 13th to 16th century-style gardens, re-creates medieval gardens by analyzing contemporary manuscripts and art, the results of recent archaeological studies, and the few remaining fragments of gardens and surviving horticultural practices from that period. She includes dozens of reproductions of medieval illuminated manuscripts, paintings, etchings, and woodcuts to illustrate gardens from the time of Charlemagne to the beginning of Renaissance gardens in England. These are fleshed out with hypothetical plans and diagrams pieced together from documentary sources, poetry, and texts on cookery, medicine, and social life. The lists of plants included in the gardens are deduced from the visual evidence but are mainly taken from the work of John Harvey (e.g., Medieval Gardens, 1982) who unambiguously equated almost every medieval plant name with plants still available. The last third of the book discusses re-creating medieval gardens and provides a list of gardens to visit, some of them designed by the author. Recommended for all gardening history collections.?Daniel Starr, Museum of Modern Art Lib., New York
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Sylvia Landsberg is a garden historian and lecturer and has re-created several twelth to sixteenth-century gardens.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 1St Edition edition (May 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500016917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500016916
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is the best single source that I have found on medieval gardening. The emphasis is on Britain and the low countries from the thirteenth through the fifteenth centuries. Gardens at all social levels are covered, from peasant to townhouse, cloister to royalty. Illustrations are not lavish but sufficient and are all well identified. Many architectural drawings are included. The chapter on recreated or reproduced medieval gardens is interesting, particluarly as the author shares her insights from working on some of them. I found the chapter on incorporating medieval recreations into modern home gardens to be less useful unless one has not been exposed to such information before.
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Format: Paperback
This book covers the medieval gardens from their origins in Roman times up to the beginning of the Renaissance. It is mostly oriented towards English gardens. It covers everything from the large pleasure gardens and parks of the aristocracy to the backyard plots of the peasants and the hospital gardens of monasteries. There is enough information to give a good overview, sufficient for most people's needs I think, and it is neatly illustrated throughout. References are given for each section, and the reader is directed to more sources of information if they desire in-depth research.
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Format: Hardcover
Sylvia Landsberg is a noted garden designer and researcher on gardens through the ages. Her speciality is medieval gardens and this is a masterpiece. If you have any interest in historical gardens, get this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It has explainations of why the gardens were created both in period and recreations. It lists plants used in the various types of gardens. It has wonderful drawings of gardens that no longer exist to show how they might have been. These are taken from archaeological finds. Great book with illuminations from the period! Super book for planning your own medieval garden. I got some new ideas for adding structures to make mine look more period in the deserts of Arizona
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Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful look at historical gardens. It also has plans to make your garden more medieval in some practical ways. I like that she doesn't make you feel bad if you aren't using real medieval plants, but are just going for a feel. There are plans in the book for a garden excedera built out of concrete blocks. I made the bench and I am not used to working with these things at all, my bench turned out looking great! I am topcoating it with mortar and not stucco as she suggests, but I used the plans. Overall, this book is inspirational and easy to follow.
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Format: Hardcover
Not an exhaustive study, to be sure, but a beautiful browse on a weekend morning. Landsberg covers the uses and design elements of medieval gardens and includes a great bibliography so you can continue researching on your own. Unfortunately, the copy I read had some printing problems (a dirty press, perhaps?) -- smears of black ink over several pages which detracted from the lovely paintings and photos, but presumably this is not present in every copy of the book.
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