A Big Garden Is A Big Book

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At least is measured in the up-down, back-forth direction, and not the thickness direction.

A Big Garden is by Gilles Clement, Professor Emeritus at the Versailles National School of Landscape Architecture and holder of the Chair of Artistic Creation at the College de France in Paris. He is famous for creating several public gardens such as the Andre? Citroe?n Park and the garden of the Quai Branly Museum in Paris and the Henri Matisse Park in Lille. The illustrations are by Vincent Grave.

This is a large format coffee table or get-together-with-the-family-to-read style book. Interesting and insightful text accompanies a brilliant and detailed illustration for each month. The text waxes between poetic and informative, giving the impressions of a master gardener’s master gardener. The illustrations are of the type that invite a long period of inspection, looking for proverbial waldoes, and are often fanciful and humerus.

Even though the book is about gardening, which tends to be a seasonal activity, it well and truly covers every month of the year. This can be on your gift shopping list for anyone’s birthday or for the winter holidays, not necessarily someone who is a heavy duty gardener. We spend some time trying to figure out if this was a kids book or an adult’s book. After a while we realized we were asking the wrong question. Clearly the text is not for young readers, but it is for any listener, of any age. And, again, the illustrations are amazing and for everyone. Each of them is equivalent in content density to an entire graphic novel, which is not surprising since Grave is a graphic novel illustrator.

I highly recommend this book, for yourself, or as a gift.

Now in Kindle, Soon in Print:


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