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Inspiration in the GardenBOOK REVIEWS

Inspiration in the Garden

Peter Sergel and Ian Baker
Published by Penguin

AS Peter Sergel, director of Hamilton Gardens, the 58ha public gem in the heart of the Waikato, points out, "this is not another garden 'recipe' book; instead it looks at the inspiration behind many successful gardens and the adventures of the imaginations they can create".

The theme of Hamilton Gardens themselves is "the story of gardens" portrayed through a series of five garden collections. In this book, Sergel explores 12 types of garden.

Starting with Paradise Gardens (the attempt to create an earthly paradise) the reader is led, chapter by chapter, through a thematic journey of the source of gardening inspiration throughout history. There are Artists' gardens, Fictional inspiration, Theatrical gardens and so on.

The writing is crammed with historical detail, but it's leavened by Sergel's eye for fascinating facts and a light touch. The prolific pictures of Hamilton Gardens are chosen to highlight the various garden genre.

Those wanting information on the source of Sergel's inspiration won't be disappointed; the final chapter, The Story of a New Zealand Garden, traces the evolution of Hamilton Gardens from a city dump and dog-dosing strip to today's splendour.

Sergel writes: "If designer gardens are to mean more than designer jeans; if we are to move beyond the fashionable symbols, styles, colours and standard garden recipes to design innovative gardens, then we need to understand the broad scope of garden design."

Inspiration in the Garden allows you to ponder the garden you have created and may help you pursue your vision with conviction.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 158, 2004, Page 20

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

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