2002. First edition, first printing. A near fine copy only marked by a very slight lean to the spine. The d/w is unclipped and also near fine.
The Mediterranean climate, with its mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, gave rise to a fashionable gardening style. Not only do Mediterranean-style gardens offer gorgeous, fragrant, soothing sanctuaries that are wonderfully easy to maintain, but water-saving planting is environmentally sound and enormously appealing whatever one's region or climatic zone. This volume showcases some 25 gardens in France, Italy, Spain and California that employ drought-tolerant plants such as agaves and other succulents, wisteria, lavenders, geraniums and even some roses. There are some design features such as terraces, arbours, hedges, pergolas, topiary, statuary, decorative tile, and terracotta containers - all hallmarks of the sun-drenched garden aesthetic. Lucinda Lewis has taken some 200 colour photographs in a variety of private and public gardens, some grand and some intimate. Practical information is contained in the extended captions, and design ideas are offered to inspire the reader to create their own Mediterranean-style garden.
With the increasing global warming and warmer, wetter winters, a study of mediterranean style gardening has more pertinence than ever before. Acclaimed US garden writer Jan Smith, accompanied by the talented photographer Lucinda Lewis, present a stunning discourse on mediterranean gardening. Interpreting "mediterranean" more as a type of climate, flora and garden style than geographically, they also encompass Californian gardens where the drought tolerant planting of Southern Europe is emulated in their similar weather pattern. From the Moorish splendours of Spain with its Islamic overtones to Renaissance villas in Italy and the formal French parterres, the author and photographer travel through these sun-drenched oasis', capturing the hazy, heat-covered vistas of arid yet still green countryside and coast which provide the backdrop to the hidden jewels of private gardens they discover. Punctuated with the silver leaves of olives, cistus and other drought-resistant shrubs and trees, the landscape is awash with scent, warmth and softness. Gardens are formalised with spires of cypress and toparied box, pergolas and arbours drip with bougainvillea and wisteria, epitomising what is commonly regarded as the mediterranean style. Steeped in history and ancient architectural features, the gardens offer shade from the blazing sun, water features adding a coolness to these verdant havens. A truly inspirational book for gardeners in the UK with planting ideas, landscaping suggestions and pictures to dream and aspire to. - Lucy Watson
Jan Smithen, a California-based gardener, teaches gardening classes at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. She has led garden tours to England, Italy, and France. Lucinda Lewis is a professional photographer based in Los Angeles. Her two passions (and favorite photography subjects) are cars and gardens. She is the author and photographer of Abrams' successful Roadside America.