Win A Copy of ‘Gardens of the Italian Lakes’

On 5th May, Frances Lincoln publishes ‘Gardens of the Italian Lakes‘ by Steven Desmond, with photographs by Marianne Majerus.  Here’s your chance to win a copy, smoking hot off the press.


But first, a little about the book from Frances Lincoln.

The Italian Lakes are a favourite travel destination with gardens around Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, in the far north of Italy, admired throughout the world for their beauty, variety, magnificent natural location and exceptional scenery. ‘Gardens of the Italian Lakes,’ by historical gardens specialist Steven Desmond and award winning photographer Marianne Majerus, will appeal to armchair travellers and garden enthusiasts preparing for a visit in equal measure.

Lake Como is a deep lake hemmed in like a fjord by towering mountains. Lake Maggiore has the character of an inland sea, with ferries crossing to the famous island gardens for an afternoon in another world. Both lakes are lined with the towers, villas and grand hotels that speak of a complex history including key events in Italy’s struggle to achieve nationhood, inspiration for a string of illustrious writers and composers, and a long line of distinguished visitors.

The gardens featured include:

  • Villa Melzi, Bellagio – an early 19th-century romantic park on the lake shore
  • Villa Carlotta, Cadenabbia – a terraced 17th-century property with woodland
  • Villa del Balbianello, Lenno – a famously picturesque loggia
  • Villa D’Este, Cernobbio – a 16th-century cascade garden with royal connections
  • Villa Cicogna Mozzoni, Bisuschio – an intact 16th-century villa garden
  • Villa Della Porta Bozzolo, Casalzuigno – a rural baroque garden
  • Isola Bella, Stresa – a well-known island garden
  • Isola Madre, Stresa – an island retreat of flowers and birds
  • Villa San Remigio, Pallanza – an Edwardian garden made by two lovers
  • Villa Táranto, Pallanza – one of the world’s great woodland gardens

STEVEN DESMOND is a gardener, writer and lecturer with a special interest in the historic gardens of continental Europe. He has led more than thirty specialist tours to the gardens of the Italian Lakes, lectures at the University of Oxford and for NADFAS, advises on the conservation of historic gardens, and writes for Country Life magazine.

MARIANNE MAJERUS is a prestigious and prolific international photographer and winner of the Garden Media Guild Features Photographer of the Year Award 2013 as well as the GMG Photographer of the Year 2010. Marianne has contributed to many sumptuous gardening books and her title Highgrove: A Garden Celebrated was a bestseller in 2014. Her most recent books, Garden Design: A Book of Ideas with Heidi Howcroft (Mitchell Beazley) – for which Marianne won the Garden Media Guild ‘Book Photographer of the Year’ award – and Great Gardens of London with Victoria Summerly and Hugo Rittson Thomas (Frances Lincoln), were both published in 2015.

As a seventeen-year old, I cycled from Germany over the Alps to the Italian Lakes.  And I didn’t visit any gardens.  Not one.  And with that interesting anecdote told, here’s how to enter the prize draw:

say you want to enter in the “Any Thoughts?” box below


(if you don’t do so already) follow ‘The Anxious Gardener’ blog; follow me on Twitter and/or like The Anxious Gardener Facebook page.  The relevant follow buttons are in the sidebar.

You can also enter via Twitter or Facebook – check my twitter feed and FB page for details.

Please note that the prize can only be posted to a UK postal address.

The competition will close at midnight on Sunday 8th May 2016.

I shall draw the winner from my hat, contact the winner and add the result to the bottom of this post.

Good luck!


To order ‘Gardens of the Italian Lakes’ at the discounted price of £28 including p&p* (RRP: £35), telephone 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code QPG429.

*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.


The competition is now closed.  Thanks to everyone for taking part and the winner is Lou Nicholls – @loujnicholls.  Congratulations.

27 thoughts on “Win A Copy of ‘Gardens of the Italian Lakes’

  1. I would love to gift that book to my favourite cousin in Sutton Coldfield. I don’t think it’s midnight in England yet so I can still enter. I am still lounging with my morning other’s day tea here on Vancouver Island.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh oh oh!!! A book of gardens in my favourite place in the world. I once spent two weeks on lake Como with a bunch of crazy Italians boating up and down past George Clooney’s place (also with stunning garden). Hoping to revisit this year/next for proper grown up garden exploration so this is my perfect guide book no?
    Selezionare me per favore.


  3. I’d love to be entered into the draw too, please. Although your blog is rightfully popular, I reckon my chances of winner are much higher than the National Lottery, so am quite excited.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This sounds like a must read! Having started my own small, but thriving gardening business, in the last couple of years I feel a holiday in the Italian Lakes region, covered by his book as a must as well! Count me in,,,,,Lorna.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Please include me in the draw – doubt that I’ll be able to travel to Italy, so a book and excellent photographs will be the best way to transport me there.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Count me in please. The Italian Lakes is on my bucket list and these stunning gardens gives me another reason (as if I needed one! ) to visit and enjoy this beautiful part of the world.
    Great blog too!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Italian lakes are magnificent. Lake Como and Lake Maggiore are a very short, easy and cheap train ride from Milan – no excuse not to go! The last time I visited Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore (in May 2014) they had a magnificent Magnolia Wieseneri in bloom. Oh, the fragrance! Last year I bought a plant, which, unsurprisingly, is struggling to put out any leaves in this arctic Berkshire spring. I’d like to enter the draw too, please. And thank you for the great blog.


    • I shall have to return, Ale. I remember Lake Maggiore being a moment of calm after the Alps and before cycling across the north Italian plain (which wasn’t much fun). Good luck in the draw. D


  8. Yes please.

    I once spent a day in Como. Didn’t go to any gardens but I think I may have seen some around the lake while sitting on a terrace in Brunate having a long lunch and a bottle of wine. As tempting as the gardens looked, the long leisurely lunch definitely won!


    • To be honest, Rej we didn’t hang around. We camped for a couple of nights on the shores of Lake Maggiore but having started in Stuttgart and with a finish in Genoa we had to crack on. Good luck, D


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