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A Guide to Smithsonian Gardens Paperback – March 8, 2011
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"Part gardening book, part history lesson, part museum souvenir, A Guide to the Smithsonian Gardens has something to offer almost everyone." Garden of Possibilities
"This guide to the Smithsonian gardens is a well-designed and thorough tour through each of the sections and the history behind them. With photos of the majestic art, sculpture and buildings, as well as the innovative and interesting plant displays, this is a book that is as much fun to casually flip through as it is to read." North Coast Gardening
"Tourists to D.C. typically see the Smithsonian museums, but how about the 28+ acres of maintained gardens around them? Most would be surprised to learn there's that much hort action going on right there on the National Mall. But straight from Smithsonian Books, the new Guide to Smithosnian Gardens by Carole Ottesen will, I hope, direct more visitors to these local treasures." Garden Rant
"Amateur and professional garden enthusiasts can enjoy this book. It provides unique plant combinations and a range of design ideas to inspire the masses. The stories will keep you reading, while the illustrations provide ideas for your next garden project." HortScience
"The gardens around the Smithsonian suite of museums feature almost every type of historical setting, from a roof top garden to classical courtyard, to roses, butterfly garden, and a native landscape complete with woods and wetlands. This indispensable guidebook, filled with rich photographs, will help you navigate around the Mall and its gardens." Chicago Botanic Garden
"With beautiful photography and wonderful descriptions of each (garden), it is enough to make the reader yearn to spend a few days in Washington, DC in order to visit them all. The gardens vary greatly – and being able to go to one city in order to see so many different types of landscapes in a short period of time adds to the appeal. From the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden to the Heirloom and Victory Gardens, there is something to inspire every designer."
About the Author
Carole Ottesen is a garden writer, photographer, and designer whose writing and photos have appeared in many magazines, including House Beautiful, Horticulture, Garden Design, Fine Gardening, and Martha Stewart Living. She lives in Potomac, MD.
Top Customer Reviews
Don't let the photos distract you from the text, however. Stories about the historical people behind each of the garden areas, as well as explanations about the plantings and aims of each garden section make it possible to recreate some of the well-planned garden themes yourself. Whether you've fallen in love with the rose gardens and want to plant some of the lovely varieties in your own garden, or whether you're taken with the idea of a victory garden or a native and butterfly garden, they give tips for gardening successfully within these themes.
If you have visited the Smithsonian gardens and want to recreate the tour at home, show friends highlights from the trip, or simply learn more about what you saw and learned, this full-color paperback gift book is a perfect commemoration of your memories.
I've never visited myself, but I enjoyed the virtual tour through these historical and varied gardens and marked quite a few pages which held inspiring ideas to use in the landscapes I design as a professional landscaper.
A Guide to Smithsonian Gardens combines a reverence for history and horticulture. It traces the Gardens' evolution from the beginning in 1835, when British Scientist James Smithson left his state to the "people of the United States" to create an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge" (p. 13). The historical narrative continues throughout the book and provides a sense of purpose and direction to the writings. Ottesen praises the key personalities and plant specimens characterizing the Gardens with equal enthusiasm. For example, one can learn about how the Hirshorn Museum came into existence while admiring striking color images of Fagus sylvatica `Pendula' at the Sculpture Garden. These vignettes carry throughout the book and combine nicely with the gorgeous images of the gardens throughout the year.
The book is organized by site, with each chapter illuminating a different garden along the Mall. The structure and size of the publication makes it perfect to carry with you on your next trip to DC while venturing between gardens. It conveniently includes a map of the Mall in the front and back sleeve to help you along your way. Furthermore, at $14.95, this book is a great deal for the level of detail included in the 160 pages.Read more ›