'This book will inspire and delight … the stories of these gardens so compellingly captured by George Plumptre make the reader stop and tarry awhile, marvelling at the energy, the vision and the passion of the people who created gardens such as Hidcote, Sissinghurst and Great Dixter.' (The English Garden) 'A feast of horticulture and Englishness.' (House & Garden) 'Tells the tale of the English Country House Gardens over the past 500 years expertly and informatively.' (Countryside Magazine) 'Sure to become a classic.' (Garden Design Journal) Gardening Book of the Year 2014 (Daily Telegraph)Revised and updated edition. There is something special about the English country house garden: from its quiet verdant lawns to its high yew hedges, this is a style much-desired and copied around the world. The English country house is most often conceived as a private, intimate place, a getaway from working life. A pergola, a sundial, a croquet lawn, a herbaceous border of soft planting; here is a space to wander and relax, to share secrets, and above all to enjoy afternoon tea. But even the most peaceful of gardens also take passion and hard work to create. This new book takes a fresh look at the English country house garden, starting with the owners and the stories behind the making of the gardens. Glorious photographs capture the gardens at their finest moments through the seasons, and a sparkling and erudite text presents twenty-five gardens - some grand, some personal, some celebrated, some never-before-photographed - to explore why this garden style has been so very enduring and influential. From the Victorian grandeur of Tyntesfield and Cragside, to the Arts & Crafts simplicity of Rodmarton Manor and Charleston; from Scampston, in the same family since the 17th century, to new gardens by Dan Pearson and Tom Stuart-Smith; and with favourites such as Hidcote and Great Dixter alongside new discoveries, this book will be a delicious treat for garden-lovers.
George Plumptre is Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme, a charity opening gardens in England and Wales. His first book, Royal Gardens, was published in 1981. Since then he has written a further ten books on garden history, design and horticulture including Garden Ornament, The Garden Makers and Heritage Gardens. His career as a journalist has included being Gardening Correspondent of The Times (1993–96) and he has been a regular contributor on gardens to Country Life since 1980. His other books include a biography of Edward VII and The Country House Guide.
MARCUS HARPUR began his career in book publishing before joining his father, Jerry, to form Harpur Garden Images in 1992, and he photographed gardens around the UK until he died in 2017. A contributing photographer to numerous books and principal photographer on Secret Gardens of East Anglia, How to Garden, Dream Gardens of England and The Winter Garden, he was a frequent contributor to magazines such as Country Life, Gardens Illustrated and House and Garden.