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Sun-Drenched Gardens: The Mediterranean Style Hardcover – October 2, 2002
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Imagine journeying to the Mediterranean region, with the scent of crushed thyme underfoot, the silhouettes of Italian cypress trees towering against an azure sky, and structures like rose-draped arbors and stone pavilions providing respite from the afternoon sun. As a style of gardening, Mediterranean landscaping is more popular and widely emulated than ever. By way of illustrating the desirable features associated with the sun-drenched gardenscape, Smithen and Lewis focus on 25 exemplary settings in California, the South of France, Italy, and Spain. Along with widely photographed garden estates of great repute, images of less grand private homes should suggest design ideas for do-it-yourself types. This is a marvelous sourcebook of possibilities for hardscaping, ornamentation, and planting schemes that readers can share with their professional designers or that they themselves can use to create or enhance their gardens. With Smithen's narration and Lewis' sublime photographs, garden lovers can look forward to enjoying a conceptual journey where the light is piercing and fragrance hangs heavy on the air. Alice Joyce
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
With the increasing global warming and warmer, wetter winters, a study of mediterranean style gardening has more pertinence than ever before. Acclaimed US garden writer Jan Smith, accompanied by the talented photographer Lucinda Lewis, present a stunning discourse on mediterranean gardening. Interpreting "mediterranean" more as a type of climate, flora and garden style than geographically, they also encompass Californian gardens where the drought tolerant planting of Southern Europe is emulated in their similar weather pattern. From the Moorish splendours of Spain with its Islamic overtones to Renaissance villas in Italy and the formal French parterres, the author and photographer travel through these sun-drenched oasis', capturing the hazy, heat-covered vistas of arid yet still green countryside and coast which provide the backdrop to the hidden jewels of private gardens they discover. Punctuated with the silver leaves of olives, cistus and other drought-resistant shrubs and trees, the landscape is awash with scent, warmth and softness. Gardens are formalised with spires of cypress and toparied box, pergolas and arbours drip with bougainvillea and wisteria, epitomising what is commonly regarded as the mediterranean style. Steeped in history and ancient architectural features, the gardens offer shade from the blazing sun, water features adding a coolness to these verdant havens. A truly inspirational book for gardeners in the UK with planting ideas, landscaping suggestions and pictures to dream and aspire to. - Lucy Watson
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Top customer reviews
In summary, great book, sadly I'm not the right audience.
In a bright and arid climate, the contrasts provide a breathtaking visual and sensory experience that this book passionately and successfully conveys.
It features ideas such as those based on a French tese with a shady tunnel of green clipped shrubs that function as doorways to sequential rooms, - Italian gardens sliced out of terracing and covered with alluring ancient pietra dura, - niches with terra-cotta figures, grottos, and Southern Californian water features.
The lavishly, and skillfully photographed book is divided into chapters that demonstrate how to achieve the mediterranean look in plantings, introduce shade and water features, create structure with various types of enclosures, design with clipped and pruned greenery, and adroitly use gravel, stone, and other paving materials instead of lawns.
The book is an inspiration and sensory delight.