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The Pleasure Garden
An Illustrated History of British Gardening

Anne Scott-James and Osbert Lancaster
Frances Lincoln
Distributed by Bookwise
Reviewed by Mike Gowing

IF you've got an eye for the quaint and slightly quirky, the re-publication of a 27-year-old classic will delight you. It's an easy romp through England's gardening past by a well-known garden writer whose cartoonist husband, the late Osbert Lancaster, will be familiar to British newspaper readers and whose work illustrates this book.

It kicks off, as the author puts, with the Roman "peristyle and ends with a patio and may seem a journey from courtyard to courtyard".

In between, the reader is given insights into such gems as the monastic garden, the grand French manner, the cottage garden and the London Square. The Pleasure Garden is, for those who like their history digestible, an informative, entertaining read. For the questing reader, a bonus is the detailed bibliography.

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

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Last updated: March 1, 2021