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Other titles in the Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture series:
The Flowering of the Landscape Garden: English Pleasure Grounds, 1720-1800 (Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture)by Mark Laird
Synopses & Reviews
The park of lawns, trees, and serpentine lakes in a picturesque composition of greens has long been viewed as the enduring achievement of eighteenth-century English landscape art. Yet this conventional view of the picturesque style ignores the colorful flowers and flowering shrubs that graced the landscape garden of the Georgian era.While the book is primarily devoted to the historical reconstruction of the formal and horticultural characteristics of theatrical shrubberies and flowerbeds, it also aims to animate the world of the eighteenth-century pleasure ground. Mark Laird shows how the unwritten lore of planting design was passed down by generation after generation of gardeners and discusses the interaction of landscape designer, client, nurseryman, land agent, and gardener in modifying and transforming the geometric layouts of previous generations. He traces the development of planting design theory and practice from Batty Langley to Capability Brown and William Chambers, and demonstrates how an English mania for flowering shrubs and conifers from eastern North America helped create the distinctive planting forms of the Georgian pleasure ground.Laird offers readers a wealth of visual and literary materials--from contemporary paintings, engravings, poetry, essays, and letters to more prosaic household accounts and nursery bills--to revolutionize our understanding of the English landscape garden as a powerful cultural expression. Through his original watercolor reconstructions of planting forms and through delightful descriptions of seasonal change and sensuous effect, he makes the gardens come alive, thus recognizing both the palpable qualities and aesthetic sophistication of eighteenth-century planting design.Laird's training as a landscape architect, garden conservator, and historian gives the book remarkable breadth and depth. It is a benchmark work, uniquely bridging the gap in landscape history between design and planting and horticultural studies.
A beautifully illustrated exploration of the quest for order within the garden, and within the natural world
Examining the periodandrsquo;s broader context, this glorious book seeks to frame the quests for order within the garden and the natural worldandmdash;an invaluable contribution to landscape and horticultural history.
Inspired by the pioneering naturalist Gilbert White, who viewed natural history as the common study of cultural and natural communities, Mark Laird unearths forgotten historical data to reveal the complex visual cultures of early modern gardening. Ranging from climate studies to the study of a butterflyandrsquo;s life cycle, this original and fascinating book examines the scientific quest for order in nature as an offshoot of ordering the garden and field. Laird follows a broad series of chronological eventsandmdash;from the Little Ice Age winter of 1683 to the drought summer of the volcanic 1783andmdash;to probe the nature of gardening and husbandry, the role of amateurs in scientific disciplines, and the contribution of women as gardener-naturalists. Illustrated by a stunning wealth of visual and literary materialsandmdash;paintings, engravings, poetry, essays, and letters, as well as prosaic household accounts and nursery billsandmdash;Laird fundamentally transforms our understanding of the English landscape garden as a powerful cultural expression.
English pleasure grounds, 1720-1800.
About the Author
Mark Laird is a historic landscape consultant and garden conservator and teaches landscape history at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. Previous books include The Flowering of the Landscape Garden: English Pleasure Grounds, 1720andndash;1800 and Mrs. Delany and Her Circleand#160;(Yale).
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