How to Design a Garden
Brings together the sharp wit and the straight-talking wisdom of the man widely credited as the inventor of the modern garden
- ForthcomingPaperback9781910258910224 pagesList Price: GBP 20.00 Buy from bookshop.org (UK)
Beginning in the 1960s, John Brookes MBE (1933–2018) revolutionized garden design, with a new design philosophy and methodology that was rooted in the notion that gardens are about the people who live in them. Recognizing the demands of the contemporary lifestyle, he broke with previous labour-intensive garden design traditions and the emphasis on showcasing plants. Instead he promoted using gardens as extensions of the home. He introduced this notion in his 1969 book, A Room Outside, which also contained practical advice on materials, methodology, and planting. His approach was unprecedented and included the then-novel idea that people of all income levels could have designed, fashionable gardens tailored to their needs, low-maintenance, and beautiful.
John taught and lectured around the world and, thanks to his energetic writing, teaching and media appearances, he became regarded as the ‘king’ and ‘godfather’ of garden and landscape design. How to Design a Garden is an informative and ultimately practical collection of his thoughts and advice selected from countless writings and lectures given to students, professionals and the public around the world.
In addition to his teaching on how to design a garden, the book has two key themes – environmental sustainability and a focus on the local vernacular. They show how far ahead he was of his time and to what a great extent his teaching remains relevant to garden-makers today.
John Brookes designed gardens and landscapes all over Britain and Europe, and also in the United States and Canada, South America, South Africa, Australia, Iran, Japan and Russia. He founded schools of design in Japan, Chile and Argentina and, most famously, the Clock House School of Design at Denmans, West Sussex. He was awarded an MBE for garden design and services to horticulture, the Award of Distinction of the American Association of Professional Landscape Designers, the Garden Writers’ Association of America Award of Excellence, and countless other international awards including four Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medals. He lived at Denmans until his death in 2018 at the age of eighty-four. Gwendolyn van Paasschen is a garden designer and writer. Having worked with John Brookes on a major design project in upstate New York, she helped him with his memoir, A Landscape Legacy (Pimpernel, 2018), and is now chair of the John Brookes Denmans Foundation, which is dedicated to perpetuating John Brookes' design legacy and to the preservation of Denmans Garden. Andrew Duff is Managing Director of the Inchbald School of Design and Vice-Chair of the Society of Garden Designers.
'John Brookes, "the man who made the modern garden", is even today the most inspired and inspiring teacher of garden design.' - Cleve West