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The Romantic GardenBOOK REVIEWS

The Romantic Garden

Graham Rose
Frances Lincoln, distributed by Bookwise
$NZ38.95

THE great European romantic tradition that Graham Rose's book evokes represented the triumph of the imagination over formality - thus Rose aims to inspire and tell gardeners how to make gardens that "appeal to emotion rather than reason". Above all, he says, "these gardens must be isolated from the everyday world where there are no reminders of the normal working day".

A few section headings - Creating the Sanctuary, Romance Within, the Secrets of the Garden - give an idea of the book's drift. Certainly, fine photographs of these tantalisingly anonymous gardens show the romantic in profusion, occasionally upstaged by mock ruins, follies, temples and statuary.

Usefully, there's a comprehensive 24-page guide outlining plants "with the most blatantly romantic qualities". Bear in mind, this is an English book; what may be restrained in their climate could go on a romantic rampage or, conversely, sulk, in ours.

Most romantics like to create their own gardens, but some gardens herein suggest an army of staff and bottomless pockets. Even so, The Romantic Garden can feed dreams and is practical enough to plunder from.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 138, 2004, Page 28

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

Weekend Gardener


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