12 March 2016

Outstanding American Gardens is an outstanding book

Outstanding American Gardens a Celebration 25 Years of the Garden Conservancy was edited by Page Dickey with photography by
Marion Brenner, published by ABRAMS 2015. $50 in the US and $30 at online booksellers.

This book is a divine combination of coffee table book and travel planner. Each garden that is featured will entice armchair travelers to get up and out of their chairs and onto the internet to plan a visit to one or more of these destination gardens.

The Garden Conservancy began in 1988 as a way to preserve important American gardens so they would not return to nature due to lack of care.

The Conservancy has restored and saved more than 80 gardens since that time. The book showcases eight of the gardens their volunteers worked on, plus 43 more private gardens that the Conservancy opened to the public as part of their Open Days Program.

A book of six tickets to Open Days is $21 for members and $35 for non-members. Tickets and/or a copy of the Directory of Open Days gardens ($26) can be ordered online at this link.  Membership is $50 for individuals and $75 for families. There are member-only tours, events, discounts, and programs, which would be great if you lived near the gardens' locations.

About the book -
The book begins with feature articles about the Conservancy's project gardens: Ruth Bancroft's in CA, Rocky Hills in NY, Japanese Stroll Garden in NY, Chase Garden in WA, Hollister House in CT, Gardens of Alcatraz in CA, Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden in SC, and Peckerwood Garden in TX.

The remainder of the 275-pages is organized by US region: Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, South, Midwest, West and West Coast. The photography is spectacular and will give gardeners in each geographical region dozens of ideas for landscaping, garden bed planning and dreaming.

I found myself saying, "Oh, I want to do that this year." and you will, too. Whether you mean I want to visit that garden or try to recreate that look and feel in my own garden, you'll enjoy absorbing the details on every page.




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