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English Gardens


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About the Author

Kathryn Bradley-Hole is the author of six gardening books, including the bestselling BBC "Gardeners' World" Garden Lovers' Guide to Britain and Lost Gardens of Englandfrom the Archives of Country Life. A fellow of The Linnean Society, she was for 18 years the gardens editor of the highly esteemed weekly magazine Country Life as well as the author of a regular column, Nature Notes. Her personal gardening interests focus on achieving visual harmony with the broader landscape and creating environments that assist wildlife.

The Duke of Devonshire resides at Chatsworth House, famous for one of the finest landscapes and gardens in England and home to the Cavendish family since 1549.


At a time when the very idea of travel is inconceivable, what a gift to be taken on an armchair tour of the great English gardens, courtesy of the magnificent “English Gardens: From the Archives of Country Life Magazine” (Rizzoli, 491 pages, $85). Kathryn Bradley-Hole, the illustrated British weekly’s garden editor for 18 years, has chosen 62 garden profiles from the nearly 900 she wrote during her tenure. Her selection—featuring gardens and country houses large and small, from the ancient to the lately established—is divided into 17 thematic sections, from topiary, formal and cottage gardens to decidedly postmodern gardens designed to “succeed in an environmentally challenging world.” The concise profiles are accompanied by full-color images by many of today’s outstanding English landscape photographers, and some also by fascinating archival materials. Section headers and picture captions provide historical context, addressing the impact on gardens of changing styles, design, economics and technology...The current Duke of Devonshire wrote the book’s foreword; his estate, Chatsworth House (profiled here twice), is one of the grandest of them all. 

An instant classic, Kathryn Bradley-Hole’s ENGLISH GARDENS: From the Archives of Country Life (Rizzoli, 491 pp., $85) contains a lifetime of travel itineraries. Great Dixter in East Sussex is vibrant with experiments in color and texture; tulips dance through a box parterre at Broughton Grange, an Oxfordshire garden recently designed by Tom Stuart-Smith — who has also been invited to refresh parts of the garden at Chatsworth for the Duke of Devonshire. —NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW 

With its history and portraits of more than 70 beautiful gardens, this book is an instant classic. The author is the former garden editor of the revered British magazine, and uses its exceptional photographs. Many of these gardens, new and old, are open to the public. —BOSTON GLOBE

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