The Garden of Ideas tells an inspiring and engaging story of Australian garden design. From the imaginings of emigrant garden-makers of the late-eighteenth century to the concerns of twenty-first-century gardeners, this book charts its way across four centuries through a handsome and satisfying fusion of images and text.
The book is embellished with an unparalleled array of images – paintings, drawings, prints, plans, and photographs – each richly evocative of their time and most never previously published. Unearthed from around Australia, and many from overseas, these images carry the story of Australian garden style down the years, in the process criss-crossing social and cultural history across the wide extremes of our continent.
Richard Aitken brings a lifetime of experience to The Garden of Ideas. The author achieves fresh insights and his work jumps out from the shelves, blending a wonderfully quirky selection of images with text that is lively and accessible. He presents our passion for garden-making with wit and flair. This is a source book for the sophisticated gardener and an indispensable companion for the garden lover. Go beyond the white picket fence and discover a vivid history of Australian garden design.
Richard Aitken is a Melbourne-based architect, historian, curator and poeticist. His books include The Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens, Gardenesque, Botanical Riches. and Seeds of Change. He has also contributed chapters to The Art of the Collection, showcasing landscape paintings of the State Library of Victoria, and Reframing Darwin, published to accompany exhibitions at the University of Melbourne's Baillieu Library and Ian Potter Museum of Art. He has been in private practice since 1978 and has prepared conservation plans for many of Australia's most significant historic gardens, including the botanic gardens of Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.