Friday, June 11, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: Spirit of The Garden

 


Spirit of the Garden

By Trisha Dixon

You know that feeling you get when on a bushwalk or a trek, the smell and sounds of the bush that makes you feel at one with nature. That sense of place! Renowned author and photographer Trisha Dixon captures this in her book Spirit of the Garden. Gardens can be formal or wild, serene or ostentatious, native or exotic, colourful or monochrome. According to Trisha if we like a person, we will probably like their garden.

This book is like no other I have read. There are many books about garden design or how to create a garden, but this book talks more about the connection with nature and country and how you can work with nature to create your own piece of paradise.

As a nature lover myself I could feel myself being absorbed into her words. “Mystery and the evocation of a sense of enigma are the secret ingredients in creating a garden that people will remember long after they have left it”.

Trisha’s vast personal library as well as her research has inspired her to share written reflections from both Australian and International Landscape Designers from various parts of the world.    

In the chapter Creating Beauty Where We Live Trisha says “The beauty of nature finds a way into our subconscious narrative and so we garden, in order to surround ourselves with beauty. Whether we succeed or not is totally a matter of perception – one person’s paradise is not always another person’s ideal. It’s all in the seeing.”

Trisha says gardening is an art form, but as in art, there are no rules – Individualistic expression is what counts.

The book explores the value in the spirit of gardens and landscape and the different approaches to garden design, framed in the context of a harsh and changing climate that we need to embrace. Trisha welcomes the shift away from the Anglocentric approach to landscape design to one that shows an intimate engagement with the spirit of place, an acknowledgement of the Aboriginal history and mythology embedded in the land.

Beautifully written in her epilogue “Many threads are woven into the fabric of a landscape: the design process, where or who the plants came from, the canvas that underlies the creation – be it urban or rural, man-made or natural - and the layers of time, of history”.

Spirit of the Garden is a new release and is a beautiful book featuring a series of written reflections, interwoven with Trisha’s evocative painterly photographs.

It was a pleasure to read Trisha Dixon’s book Spirit of the Garden

ISBN:  978-0-642-27970-5

Hardcover   RRP $65 NLA Publishing

 

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