Ines Hčugel, Photographs
by Christian Sarramon
Hachette, Bookwise International
FORGET plants - French
Garden Style is concerned with almost everything in the garden
but. The focus here is garden collectibles and the ambience they
bring to French gardens. For those hooked on garden embellishment
- planters, furniture, ornaments and so on - this book is a must-read.
You might have to ignore
that these collectibles are half a world away; thorough local foraging
may turn up ring-ins for Medici vases and suchlike.
French Garden Style
is clearly divided into four sections: Containers and supports;
Garden furniture; Accessories; and Ornamental features. Aptly chosen
photos, bolstered by relevant artwork or pictures from period catalogues,
illustrate each section.
The book details the
origin of various styles of collectibles. You'll find all you need
to know about Aubagne and Impruneta pottery, wire containers and
wickerwork, even down to oddities like Lloyd Loom (an extraordinary
faux rattan used in woven chairs).
If garden gnomes and
scarecrows are your thing, there's a nod in their direction too.
There's also a passing glance at antique garden tools, carts, barrows,
and watering cans.
Most chapters carry useful
tips or hints on what to look out for in various collectibles and,
importantly, how to restore, care for and, in some cases, age them.
Determined Kiwi scavengers
(those for whom distance is no object), will find websites listed
in the back that offer a starting point. Buyers beware: chasing
that authentic je ne sais quoi may be addictive and call
for - price of the book aside - a plump wallet.
Gardener, Issue 142, 2004, Page 28
(reproduced in Horticulture
in New Zealand:
Journal of the Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture 2005, 8(1): 20)
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH