Amazon.com Review Andrew Wilson's Influential Gardeners portrays who's who among 20th-century landscape designers, pinpointing how they created their effects and shaped gardening taste. Through engaging profiles of 56 garden stars and over 180 superb photographs, Wilson illustrates how garden design, an art form as ancient as Eden, broke free in the last century to become a more dynamic, diverse, and intellectually vital art. Wilson, director of Garden Design Studies at London's Inchbald School of Design, places the gardeners into seven different groups, according to the element most potent in their work--color and decoration, plants, concept, form, structure, texture, or materials. In masterly distilled overviews, he leads his readers through sites as famous as 'decorator' Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst and into less familiar territory such as Kathryn Gustafson's remarkable form-driven, deconstructed landscape at Terrasson-la-Villedieu, France, which features a wide gilded aluminum ribbon woven through tree canopies. Along the way, Wilson points out themes threading through the century, such as reactions against the Beaux-Arts tradition and the impact of modernism. Whenever possible, the designer's own garden is showcased. Influential Gardeners is a beautifully designed book, written in a clear style that is never over the head of the general reader. Sticklers might take issue with Wilson's tidy categorization. Nonetheless, the organizational focus provides a useful way into what the author sees as a 'golden age of gardens.'--Jennifer Wyatt Read more From the Inside Flap Influential Gardeners reveals the history and development of garden and landscape design in the 20th century by focusing on 56 key personalities who have shaped?and continue to form?today?s taste. In the 20th century, garden and landscape designers in Europe and the United States began to apply the same design principles to smaller private garden or to public spaces as had previously been applied to country estates. From early stars such as Gertrude Jekyll, Thomas Church, and Geoffrey Jellicoe to pivotal contemporary designers such as Kathryn Gustafson, Peter Walker, and Jacques Wirtz, the garden designers celebrated here put this into perspective. A knowledge of nature and plants, as well as an aesthetic eye for color, scale, and proportion are all needed by any influential gardener. However, the designers whose work is featured in depth are organized by their prime focus?color and decoration (including Vita Sackville-West and Penelope Hobhouse), plants (including Beth Chatto and Piet Udolph), concept (including Isamu Noguchi and Martha Schwartz), form (including Frank Lloyd Wright and Ted Smyth), structure (including Russell Page and Dan Kiley), texture (including Roberto Burle Marx and Vladimir Sitta), or materials (including Gilles Cl?ment and Topher Delaney). Andrew Wilson?s authoritative text is full of anecdotes and quotes that provide unique insight into each designer?s work, while photographs and plans showcase their masterworks. With more than 180 glorious photographs of both historic and contemporary schemes, Influential Gardeners is an essential reference book for anyone?whether a practicing garden designer or an enthusiast?who wishes to know more about the ?greats? of 20th-century garden and design. Read more See all Editorial Reviews
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