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Balinese GardensBOOK REVIEWS


Text: William Warren
Photographs: Luca Invernizzi Tettoni
Southern Publishers Group

HAPPILY, Luca Tettoni's lens draws us away from Bali's tourist hot-spots like Denpasar and Kuta Beach, to uncover the botanical charm and profusion that underpins Bali's bewitching reputation.

For the most part blessed with volcanic fertility, abundant water and a benign climate, Bali is a tropical paradise, where "ramé" - overcrowded abundance - vies with "sepi" - empty stillness.

The book doesn't shirk on the detail. There's informed analysis of the landscape and climate variation while the chapter examining the island's plants - ranging from orchids to edelweiss will grab the attention of gardeners.

Balinese traditional and temple gardens, and contemporary gardens are given a broad brushstroke in respective chapters. More specific chapters deal with some stunning resort and private gardens, notably those of Sanur and the Bali Hyatt.

To most Kiwis recent images conjured up by mention of Bali are of beaches and more unfortunately, terrorist bombing. With its splendid portrayal of this verdant, Indonesian island Balinese Gardens does much to dispel both and provide a delightful memento of a remarkable garden paradise.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 140, 2004, Page 28

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

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