Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway:The Art of Gardening


Pause for a second and think: when are you at your most creative in the garden?

R. William Thomas, director and head gardener at Chanticleer, begins each day with a walk around the gardens accompanied by his corgi Jesse. It is on these morning strolls that he takes a critical look at what is working in the garden and what needs to be changed or moved. Could a particular flowerbed be better? Perhaps it is time to try something new? While he considers questions like this; he pauses to pull the odd weed, prune the occasional branch.

In his travels, Bill Thomas meets with the garden's staff and listens to their latest ideas. Most of these creative discussions are accompanied by plenty of excited hand waving. Design is often a solitary creative act, but at Chanticleer it is a collaborative exercise.

When I read the passage in the book The Art of Gardening in which Bill Thomas describes his daily wander through the garden, I could absolutely relate to his experience. Before I begin any work, I take a turn around the garden with my two dogs in tow. I admire what's blooming and make mental notes on what chores need to be done. Almost always I get distracted by some problem or surprise.

For me, this is when I am the most creative in the garden. I dream. I ponder. I plan.

Though I sometimes tire of the hard physical work that gardening entails, but I never ever tire of the the creative process I think of as the "art of gardening".


Taken from The Art of Gardening © Copyright 2015 by the Chanticleer Foundation. All rights reserved. 
Published by Timber Press, Portland OR. Used by permission of the publisher.

Let me tell you a bit more about Chanticleer.

Located just outside of Philadelphia, Chanticleer is was originally built as a summer home for the wealthy Rosengarten family. As a bit of humour, the estate was named after the grand, yet heavily mortgaged Chanticlere in Thackeray's 1855 novel  The Newcomes. Today the entire property is managed by the Chanticleer Foundation and the garden is open for the education and enjoyment of the public. 

In the years since becoming a "pleasure garden" much has changed at Chanticleer. It has evolved from a country estate to a dynamic, contemporary garden that has garnished an international reputation for its innovative plantings.

Chanticleer's design, and even the furniture, gates and bridges arise from the combined efforts of the gardening staff. Because the gardeners are encouraged to be inventive, the garden changes dynamically from year to year and even season to season.

Taken from The Art of Gardening © Copyright 2015 by the Chanticleer Foundation. All rights reserved. 
Published by Timber Press, Portland OR. Used by permission of the publisher.

It seems only fitting that an innovative garden would spawn a novel gardening book.

Most books are written by one or maybe two people. The Art of Gardening however, is written by the large team of horticulturalists responsible for making Chanticleer the groundbreaking garden that it has become.

The result is a refreshing mix of voices and blend of viewpoints on a wide range of gardening related topics. By way of example, here are three distinct and interesting perspectives on color from the book:

Doug Croft: "I think of using color in the garden like I approach investing- diversification is the key."*

Emma Seniuk"I delight in combining colors that others might consider discordant, like orange and magenta. Color is, after all, not just color. There are hues, tones, and saturations to consider... Color like many other things in life is complicated."*

Joe Henderson: " I am dazzled by color and want it bright, searing, and unencumbered by fashionable trends."*

* Excerpted from The Art of Gardening © Copyright 2015 by the Chanticleer Foundation. All rights reserved. Published by Timber Press, Portland OR.  Pg. 156-7.

Taken from The Art of Gardening © Copyright 2015 by the Chanticleer Foundation. All rights reserved. 
Published by Timber Press, Portland OR. Used by permission of the publisher.

What does a book on a large public garden have for you the home gardener? 

Well, the book offers the reader a nice blend of inspiration and practical craft that can easily be transferred to the smaller space. While it is a sizeable public garden, Chanticleer is made up of a series of smaller garden "rooms" that have a scale similar to most residential gardens. 

Taken from The Art of Gardening © Copyright 2015 by the Chanticleer Foundation. All rights reserved. 
Published by Timber Press, Portland OR. Used by permission of the publisher.

In gardening as in design, there is no right and wrong. Rules are only made to be broken. Though it isn't always regarded as such, I do believe gardening is an art form. It takes artistry to combine colors, textures, scents and sounds in a way that is pleasing to the senses. 

While it involves a lot of hard, but satisfying physical work, I think it is the creative challenges that make gardening so appealing. 

Taken from The Art of Gardening © Copyright 2015 by the Chanticleer Foundation. All rights reserved. Published by Timber Press, Portland OR. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Art of Gardening is a book you might want to consider adding to your Christmas wish list. Filled with gorgeous photography, it will see you through the bleak winter months with lots of inspiration for your garden next spring.


The Art of Gardening at a Glance:
Book Authors: R William Thomas and the Chanticleer Gardeners
Photographer: Rob Cardillo
Publisher: Timber Press
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 338 pp.
Images: 276 color photos



Thomas Allen & Sons has given me a review copy of the new book: The Art of Chanticleer. I am going to give it away to one lucky reader.

Leave a comment if you would like to be included in the book draw. The draw will remain open for the next 7 days. If you are not a blogger, you can enter to win on the Three Dogs in a Garden Facebook page. Please make sure there is a way for me to track down your email address should your name be drawn.

34 comments:

  1. I would love to enter your competition if it is open to International readers.

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    1. I have sent winners copies of books in Canada, the U.S. and in Europe. Beyond that might get a little prohibitive shipping wise.

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  2. Oh pick me pick me!!! I would love a copy of this book. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  3. Chanticleer is Beautiful! I would love a copy of this book! Thank you for sharing!

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  4. What a beautiful book I'd love to win a copy.

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  5. Such a beautiful book... I sure could use the inspiration! Thank you!

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  6. I would love to add this book to our collection for ideas and inspiration at our design office!

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  7. I would love to have this gorgeous book both for the sheer joy of seeing photographs of the color combinations but mostly for the inspiration it would give me to incorporate more color into my yard. Its really exciting to see it based on gardens on the East Coast which is where my little garden is so I'm sure I'd have all kinds of inspiration. Also, did want to tell you how very much I enjoy your blog. Your photography is superlative but so is your commentary. I always feel like I've taken a nice stroll with you after reading one of your blogs.

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    1. That is so sweet of you to say Kathy. I really appreciate the compliment.

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  8. What a wonderful way to spend Winter looking at beautiful garden pictures.
    Marie

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  9. Would love to win a copy of this book! The cover inspired me to purchase some allium bulbs to combine with iris I already have in my garden. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

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  10. The minute I saw this post, I immediately tried to find the book at the library - no luck!! So, second, I am entering your drawing. If I don't win ( sad face ), third, I guess I will have to buy it! Thank you.

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  11. Beautiful photos! I'd love to have a copy of this book. Going on my wish list!

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  12. WOW! I would love a copy of this book, awesome designs and plant combinations.

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  13. What a beautiful book! I would love to win a copy.

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  14. The color combinations in this post are colorful but not jarring. That may be because of the large amount of green. I need a little push to move past the pastels I love and add some bright or hot colors. Love the quote that compares color selection to investing. Made me smile, but a good point to remember.

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  15. Oh my - what a beautiful garden and a beautiful book to go with it - full of inspiration and ideas - if only I had the space to carry out these ideas - sigh. 😢

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  16. Seemingly required inspiration in my world after serious illness and a broken marriage. Grateful to be here and to have my own little bit of paradise. Heres to green space and gardens to all ! Thank you for the peek;) What a dreamy space.

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  17. Hello again Jennifer girl ! ... I love the irises in your header picture, it reminds me of how fresh Spring is after a long winter (good grief we haven't even dipped our toes in that one yet and I am hopping over it ? LOL) ... This looks like a lovely garden book and I would love to have it in my collection : )
    Creativity ... lately this year .. the most relaxed I can feel is with my eyes shut thinking of each small section of my gardens and how to tweak them to look their best through out the garden season.
    I have never quite felt that way before .. I was always in such a rush to get things up to what I considered "par" ... now I have taken a more gentler attitude which relaxes the whole situation and I can think more clearly. Yes ! walking the garden can stir up surprising ideas and the facility to almost see in multiple seasons with how areas would look.
    Well that is me in a nutshell ... a garden dreamer ! haha
    Take care
    Joy : )

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  18. What a beautiful book, with stunning photos! I would love to win this book, but do you want to be sending it to Europe?!

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    1. Last time someone in Europe won it I ordered a copy through Amazon and the shipping was quite reasonable.

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  19. Stunning front cover picture! Wow, a match made in heaven. It reminds me of a plant pairing that I got to enjoy while weeding a client's flower island- Bright magenta Dodecatheon (shooting star) against a yellow double buttercup (Trollius). Mmmmm! Buttercups and shooting stars! :)

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  20. I would love to win this book! I take more than one daily walk through my garden with my little dog leading the way. I love seeing it at different times of the day.

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  21. Garden books...I can´t resist them! It is hard to say when am I most creative in my garden. Sometimes I stand in the garden and watch the problem area and my mind is blank. I think and rethink and don´t find good solution. And then suddenly the inpiration hits and I know what should be done. I found that the best time to plan the garden was the time when I tried to get my little daughter to sleep in her baby carriage - I rocked the carriage in the garden and I had plenty of time to just be still, look around and think. I discovered that I am most creative at the moments when I have time to watch my garden and "listen" to it.

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  22. Your example photos from the book are gorgeous!

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  23. I love pastels in my garden with purple and yellow being a favorite combination. I'm inspired just looking at the cover. My garden chore (not really) today is trimming bushes and gathering seeds. Would love to settle in my favorite chair with this book and dream of Spring.

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  24. Three of us from work were able to visit in mid-October, and it was wonderful.

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  25. I have never been to Chanticleer even though it's only 3 hours away. I'm planning a trip next spring to finally get to see it. My husband will probably have to drag me away. :o)

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  26. Such a lovely post!
    mmyheartishere@gmail.com

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  27. I would love to win a copy, I could use more inspiration for my own works in progress! :)

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  28. what a beautiful place and beautiful pictures

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  29. I'm too late for the giveaway, but I will have to check this book out! Chanticleer is on my bucket list of gardens to visit one day, and looking through this book would be the next best thing for now. All these gorgeous photos would be a great way to dream and plan on a dreary winter's day.

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  30. Oh...what a FAB book, please count me in if England is in the mix.xxx

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