As promised, here’s another book giveaway.
It is a treat being sent new books but finding time to read them is a problem. When Jessica at Frances Lincoln sent me Sir Roy Strong’s latest, I decided to take it with me to the Chelsea Flower Show and read it on the train. But don’t try this yourself; ‘Remaking A Garden: The Laskett Transformed‘ is pretty heavy. (And I felt foolishly self-conscious; producing a coffee-table tome from my bag in a busy railway carriage).
However, any awkwardness was quickly dispelled as I turned the pages and read a remarkable story. I had barely heard of Strong’s garden, ‘The Laskett’, and knew next to nothing about it.
Starting in the early 70’s, the author and his late wife Julia Trevelyan Oman, built what is considered the largest formal garden created in the UK since the second world war. After Julia’s death in 2003, and thirty years after starting the garden, Sir Roy realised that it needed a major overhaul; much of it was overgrown, trees and shrubs were too large, views had been lost and a major rethink of the layout required.
It was the idea of photographer Clive Boursnell to produce a book chronicling how Sir Roy and his gardeners would reinvigorate, reshape and replant ‘The Laskett‘. Boursnell (a one time professional mountaineer and assistant glaciologist – that impressed me) had first visited ‘The Laskett‘ in the mid 1990’s and returned in 2004 to spend twelve months photographing the gardens for ‘Country Life‘. Living on site in his camper bus, Clive was able to capture the gardens at every hour, at all seasons. As Stong says, “it is Clive’s pictures that tell the story.” You’d expect me to say that the book is packed with photos; so I will. I always enjoy before and after shots and this book is full of them.
The garden won’t suit everyone’s taste; it is very formal with a lot of clipped yew, box and hedging creating rooms and vistas. Personally, I love formal gardens but I couldn’t warm to some particulars: the faux temple, painted masonry and some of the statuary, for example. I do however, applaud a seventy year old’s skill, vision and determination to see through a grand and very big project. (I am also in awe of his dress style – but I shan’t be emulating him. At least not just yet).
‘Remaking A Garden‘ is an absorbing chronicle of the huge amount of work involved in creating and then re-developing a garden. If you have visited ‘The Laskett‘ it will provide all the background and history you could want; from its inception to its rebirth. And if you haven’t visited, you will wish to.
‘Remaking A Garden‘ has just been published by Frances Lincoln and retails at thirty of your English pounds. Would you like to own a copy? Here’s all you need to do:
leave a comment below saying that you wish to enter.
please follow ‘The Anxious Gardener’ (if you don’t do so already) – either the blog, on Facebook or Twitter (the appropriate follow buttons are at the top of the right-hand side panel).
The closing date is midnight on Wednesday 4th June 2014. I’ll draw the winner out of my
notify the winner by email and add the result to the bottom of this post. I’m afraid you must have a UK postal address (or the use of one).
Sir Roy Strong and Clive Boursnell will be hosting a talk at the Garden Museum on 3rd June where they will be discussing the transformation of ‘The Laskett’ and signing copies of the book.
Further details here – Garden Museum
To order ‘Remaking A Garden: The Laskett Transformed’ at the discounted price of £24.00 including p&p* (RRP: £30.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the offer code APG146.
*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.
The competition is now closed. And the winner is Helen (Silverbells2012). Congratulations.