As well as food and medicine, the medieval garden provided pleasure, repose and refreshment to the senses. From detailed manuscript descriptions and illustrations, Sylvia Landsberg builds up a picture of the various styles of garden from the small enclosed herber with plant borders, turf benches, and rose-covered trellises, to the vast cultivated parks of royalty and nobility. Amongst the species she finds in a fifteenth-century plant inventory are the familiar violet, lily and columbine, sage, basil and sorrel, pear, apple and vine, all still available to the modern gardener.
Combining her historical knowledge with practical experience of recreating medieval gardens in various sites in England, Landsberg explains how she designed Queen Eleanor's garden at Winchester and Brother Cadfael's physic garden at Shrewsbury. She gives detailed descriptions of layouts, the measurements of beds, and the types of tools required. Landsberg also presents the marvelous medieval gardeners calendar, illustrated in the twelve 'Occupations of the Months.' Uniquely, the book offers practical advice on how to create typical medieval features, making it an interesting and unusual gift for any keen gardener.
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Sylvia Landsberg is a garden historian and lecturer and has re-created several twelth to sixteenth-century gardens.
How does one write about gardens that no longer exist? Landsberg, a garden historian and lecturer who has designed several 13th to 16th century-style gardens, re-creates medieval gardens by analyzing contemporary manuscripts and art, the results of recent archaeological studies, and the few remaining fragments of gardens and surviving horticultural practices from that period. She includes dozens of reproductions of medieval illuminated manuscripts, paintings, etchings, and woodcuts to illustrate gardens from the time of Charlemagne to the beginning of Renaissance gardens in England. These are fleshed out with hypothetical plans and diagrams pieced together from documentary sources, poetry, and texts on cookery, medicine, and social life. The lists of plants included in the gardens are deduced from the visual evidence but are mainly taken from the work of John Harvey (e.g., Medieval Gardens, 1982) who unambiguously equated almost every medieval plant name with plants still available. The last third of the book discusses re-creating medieval gardens and provides a list of gardens to visit, some of them designed by the author. Recommended for all gardening history collections.?Daniel Starr, Museum of Modern Art Lib., New York
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description British Museum Press, London, U.K., 2001. Card Cover. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 144pp; col pls. Mint. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Softback. Bookseller Inventory # 014898