decorated boards, 240 pp., $45.00
Lavishly illustrated with photographs by award-winning photographer Alain Le Toquin of flowers and gardens situated primarily in Great Britain and France, this book contains views of some of the world’s most attractive and significant gardens. Landscape architect Yves-Marie Allain, former director of the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle in Paris, has written a remarkably informative text (translated from the French by Nicholas Elliott) that accompanies the colorful work. He traces the history of flowers in the Western world from flower production for decorations and other utilitarian purposes to those grown for religious and medicinal purposes, as well as those grown for vegetables, condiments, and fruit. The pleasure garden, a site meant for aesthetic purposes and leisure, appeared during the Renaissance. The author draws attention to the fact that the vast range of species during recent times offers gardeners the opportunity to employ these floral introductions in displays that have pattern and shape. Stunning photographs illustrate this walk through garden history.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden