By Dan Pearson. Edited by Damon Murray, Stephen Sorrell, Anna Benn,
Fuel Publishing, 2009. 208 pp., 400 color illustrations, 8½x10½".
Taking inspiration from art, sculpture, Chicago prairies and
folk architecture such as tree houses, Dan Pearson—
acclaimed garden designer and “green-fingered guru” at
the U.K. newspaper The Observer—lays out his design philosophy
and working process, giving readers direct insight
into his collaborative approach of working with nature,
instead of imposing preconceptions upon it. Journeying
from New Zealand to Japan via Thames-side barge gardens,
Pearson focuses on the spirit of place as it emerges through
geography, history, architecture and native flora, extrapolating
this sense of place into a new gardening philosophy.
Very far from conventional gardening books, Spirit radically
expands the genre, inviting us to understand the act of gardening
in the light of contemporary needs and with a keen
environmental awareness; Pearson particularly stresses the
importance of skills such as being able to “read” a variety of
landscapes (both wild and cultivated), and of staying open
to what those landscapes suggest in terms of cultivation.
This long-awaited publication is Pearson’s first in eight
years, and uses 400 of his own much-admired photographs
as reference points.
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