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Gardens Of Obsession: Eccentric And Extravagant Visions Hardcover – December 31, 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Gardens of obsession" are "the metamorphoses of dreams, fantasies, ancient myths or allegories made into a physical reality." This stunning book features a breathtaking array of 150 gardens, from the beautiful to the bizarre, from the enchanting to the eccentric, each of them the realization of one person's wildest dreams. And it is the fact that these dreams can be so completely brought to life on the garden's canvas that makes this book so enthralling. Even the most extravagant design has been achieved with great accomplishment; the most extreme idea has become reality. Yet these gardens are also testaments to craft and hard work--only the obsessive bent on creating something truly personal can achieve the sort of visions exemplified in the book.

The locations of these horticultural wonders can be found in the jungles of Mexico, on the lawns of Oxfordshire, in an Ecuador cemetery, and in the surrounds of a Czechoslovakian castle. Some reflect high culture, while others explore surrealist fantasy containing lavish topiary and astonishing sculptural splendor. Within these pages we are taken on a pilgrimage through the minds and souls of people who have striven to realize themselves through the deeply personal space that a garden can be. When so many gardening books remain mired in the utilitarian, this wonderful volume takes a bold leap into fantasy. This is the book for anyone who wants to be inspired to create a garden that goes beyond a tidy lawn with tidy borders. --Nicola Hollins

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Cassell; First Edition edition (December 31, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297823736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297823735
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 9.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,027,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you love gardens, you have to get this one. Some of the gardens are just plain eccentric, but incredibly beautiful.
Incredible mazes and topiaries. If you want to see something original, and something out of the ordinary, this is for you. Makes a GREAT gift for anyone who loves gardens, or who just loves beautiful books.
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Format: Hardcover
When I was a kid, I thought I'd like to be eccentric when I grew up. On my good days, I flatter myself that I've attained this goal. Compared with the people whose gardens are shown here, however, I'm a rank amateur. The gardeners whose work are presented have a clear vision of what they want, and they've gone to whatever lengths were necessary to create it. There's topiary, there's folk art, there's real art. I guarantee you'll find some of it ugly or tacky -- but anyone who wants more from a garden than what good taste and convention can provide will be riveted and inspired.
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Format: Hardcover
I work part time at a greenhouse (mostly as an indentured servant to my own gardening habit) and am TIRED of those whom I refer to as "Garden Nazis" - people (some of them - horrors - my very own co-workers) who think gardening is all about what you see in *those* magazines. You know the ones. This book offers a much needed and totally refreshing viewpoint that takes the onous off of we gardeners to create in just one way and opens avenues into whole new worlds! Have a look and be transported.
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