Through Western eyes; the centre; the north; the south; the east; the west.
Born in Australia and brought up in the bush, Peter Valder's early interest in the Australian flora was stimulated by local amateur botanists. He went on to become a plant pathologist and mycologist after graduating from the Universities of Sydney and Cambridge. He was pleased to later become involved in the teaching of general botany in addition to his mycological work. Peter has also been an office bearer of the Linnean Society and the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science. Since drifting into the popularizing of Australian botany and horticulture, he has made appearances on radio and television, written for magazines, and lectured to organizations concerned with plants and gardens. His interest in gardening has taken him to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Burma, and China, from which he has introduced numerous plants suited to the Australian climate. Also, he has visited gardens in Britain, New Zealand, North America, France, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, and Korea, accumulating photographs with which to illustrate his lectures and writings. His involvement with his family's garden, Nooroo, at Mount Wilson, New South Wales, led to its becoming one of Australia's most admired gardens. It was here that he was able to indulge his enthusiasm for plants from all over the world. Amongst other things, he gathered together a remarkable collection of wisteria, his experience with which led to his writing Wisterias, the first monograph on this genus in any European language. It was the success of this book that encouraged him to utilize his long-standing interest in Chinese plants and gardens to write The Garden Plants of China, which was awarded as the Reference Gardening Book of 1999 by the Garden Writer's Guild of the UK. To recognize his gifts of plants to and voluntary work for the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, in 1995 he was made their first Honorary Horticultural Associate, and in 1996 was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in recognition of his contribution to botany and horticulture in that country.
Valder's illuminating compilation of more than 200 gardens promises to provide the ultimate resource for future travelers, who, before wmbarking on a trip, can study and savor images and information on diverse horticultural realms located throughout China... A lavish record of famed Imperial gardens as well as fascinating examples of lesser-known temples, parks, and botanical arboreta... Encompassing a treasury of plant portraits, stunning architectural details, and awe-inspiring vistas, Valder's chosen topic is rendered in such depth as to rouse armchair dreamers and act as a call to action for avid garden trekkers. Booklist 20020830 A delightful armchair tour...[Valder] paints verbal pictures. -- Suzanne Hively Cleveland Plain Dealer 20020808 A fabulous book which has obviously been a labour of love...will stand for decades and will prove to be invaluable to tourists, gardeners, students and historians alike. -- Sam Youd Tatton Park Gardener 20020813 A perfect book ... for the armchair explorer ... to read before traveling to China. -- Joanne S. Carpender National Gardener 20020904 It's another first: an expert - most likely the definitive - work on Chinese living art, written by an Australian and published, of course, by an Oregon company. -- Dan Hays Salem Statesman Journal 20020825 Authoritative and readable, this title is a required reference for both landscape design and Asian studies collections. Choice 20021211 Gardens in China ... is lavishly illustrated with meticulously produced art. -- Patricia Jonas Plants and Gardens News 20020108 An excellent summary of the history of Western experiences in China ... After reading The Gardens of China, I would love to return to that country ... If I do, this book will be my primary guide. -- Richard A. Brown Pacific Horticulture 20030109 [The author's] conversational tone and knowledgeable appreciation for his subject make it an easy read, but it is his wonderful photographs that truly take the reader into the heart and soul of the places he has visited. -- Marge Howard-Jones California Garden 20021122 Some people truly amaze me. Peter Vader is one of those people. -- Richard A. Brown Pacific Horticulture 20030327 [This book] will appeal to any gardener with an interest in Chinese culture or, better yet, a plan to journey there. -- Carol Stocker Boston Globe 20021219 Gardens in China is a glory. The photographs of gardens ... are breathtaking. -- Marilis Hornidge Rockland Courier-Gazette 20030130 Gardeners, history and travel buffs, and students should read this book. -- N. Thomas Strnad Growing Concern 20030225 It is useful to find so many wonderful gardens, most of them photographed by the author on his frequent trips to China. -- Joanne S. Carpender National Gardener 20030326 Useful to find so many wonderful gardens, most of them photographed by the author on his frequent trips to China. -- Joanne S. Carpender National Gardener 20021107 Mr. Valder's large--format book with excellent photographs on almost every page does justice to this most remarkable garden tradition. American Rhododendron Society Journal 20030527 Valder's book makes a valuable contribution to the gardening as well as the cultural literature between China and the West. This book is highly recommended to gardeners. -- William Johnson E-Streams 20030511 An ambitious book aimed at the general reader. -- George Fetherling Vancouver Sun 20030517 It is essential reading for visitors to China with an interest in gardens and for those interested in garden history and Chinese culture. Professional Gardener 20030715 This award-winning reference is a great addition to one's collection. -- Leonard Perry Perry's Perennial Pages 20030926 Packed full of a lifetime of information...a pleasure to read. A great triumph! -- Liz Banks International Dendrology Society Yearbook 20040621 This is a large book in every way, easy and exciting to read; something to treasure. Plantsman 20040908 [Verder's] photographs of people enjoying the beauty of these gardens makes the reader want to join in. -- Josephine Bridges Asian Reporter 20060929