Setting the Scene

Setting the Scene

A Garden Design Masterclass from Repton to the Modern Age

'George Carter will transform a backyard into Versailles.' - Independent

In Setting the Scene leading garden designer George Carter describes his own work over the past thirty years and puts it in the context of the teachings of the great eighteenth-century landscaper Humphry Repton.  The result is a series of pithy lesson that will be invaluable to any garden designer, or garden owner.

Rich in both inspiring ideas and practical advice, Setting the Scene shows how successful gardens are designed and made. Following the pattern set by Repton in his revered Red Books, Carter takes us through the process in meticulous detail, leading us from the initial site plan to the glory of the finished garden, and illustrating each chapter with photographs and plans of gardens from his own portfolio, ranging from small urban gardens to large country estates, the world over.

George Carter began his career by designing exhibitions for museums and art galleries. After working for London’s Geffrye Museum and for the Sainsbury Centre at the University of East Anglia, he turned his attention to gardens and soon attracted a variety of clients the world over, with gardens great and small.

He has designed gardens in France and Spain, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maine, as well as all over Britain, and has won eight Chelsea Gold Medals. Previous books include Garden Space (Mitchell Beazley, 2005); Garden Magic (Double-Barrelled Books, 2015). He lives in Norfolk.

Marianne Majerus is a regular contributor to many national and international publications, including House and Garden, Gardens Illustrated, Country Life, Homes and Gardens, Country Homes and Interiors, The Garden, English Garden, The Times, Guardian, and Daily Telegraph.  Her photographs have featured in over 200 books. In 2010 the British Garden Media Guild named her International Garden Photographer of the Year, in 2011 Garden Photographer of the Year and in 2013 Features Photographer of the Year.

"Lavishly illustrated with fine photographs of Carter's garden designs taken by Marianne Majerus. It will be inspirational and of great practical use for anyone setting out to design a garden."


"Acclaimed garden designer George Carter shows us how to translate the ideas of Repton's Red Books on garden planning and layout through his own work today."

The Lady Books of the Year

"Cleverly woven with interesting information about Repton himself and his influences on George’s own career. The result is a series of pithy lessons that will be invaluable to any garden designer or garden owner – indeed for anyone interested in horticulture and design. There are excellent plans and photographs of gardens from his own portfolio, ranging from small urban gardens to large country estates, the world over."

The Reckless Gardener

"Sheer originality, verve, wit and invention burst from the images on these pages. The author modestly tells us about Repton - but it is Carter from whom we learn. He gives the amateur designer the confidence to experiment with ornament and be bold with evergreen shapes."

Gardens Illustrated Tim Richardson

"One of the most inspiring books on garden design I've ever encountered."

Waitrose Weekend Alan Titchmarsh

"George Carter distils his 30-year career into a set of lively and useful chapters. Ultimately, [this book] shows how adaptable Repton's ideas are for gardens of all sizes today. There is a relaxed feeling, as if you're a participant in a three-decade-long conversation between the two."

House & Garden Barbara Segall

‘George Carter will transform a backyard into Versailles.’

The Pimpernel Press Ltd
The Pimpernel Press Ltd
Product Format
270 x 210
Publication Date
May 17, 2018
Number of Pages