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16 October 2014
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Autumn 2007
  Armchair Gardening

Book Review Richard Wright

Radical LandscapesThis is the time of year when people dream about what they will do in the garden when the weather improves. If your dreams are more those of an architect than the everyday gardener Radical Landscapes by Jane Amidon could be the book for you. This is definitely a coffee table tome – a spectacular mind enhancing book to be enjoyed indoors on a wet winter’s day.

Claiming to "reinvent outdoor space" it describes and illustrates a variety of projects using natural and man-made materials. It suggests these ideas can be applied to different surroundings. But beware, there is little for the small-scale private garden, with most of the book devoted to large scale public projects. Some of these are certainly impressive, such as a fibre wave created in Japan, where 150 free standing carbon fibre rods sway in the wind. The stuff of dreams it may be, but at £29.95 this is a very specialised book for a limited market, offering little in the way of practical advice.

However if you are interested in contemporary landscape architecture and want something to stimulate your imagination, then there may be something in this book for you. It describes the use of light, colour and texture, the creation of movement and the arrangement of objects of a site. It considers the context of the design, and devotes a whole chapter to urban landscapes. But for most amateur gardeners I am afraid this is a book likely to remain on the coffee table.

Radical Landscapes
Jane Amidon
Publisher Thames & Hudson
Price £29.95




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