The Education Of A Gardener
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The Education Of A Gardener

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Russell Page, one of the legendary gardeners and landscapers of the twentieth century, designed gardens great and small for clients throughout the world. His memoirs, born of a lifetime of sketching, designing, and working on site, are a mixture of engaging personal reminiscence, keen critical intelligence, and practical know-how. They are not only essential reading for to...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published July 3rd 2007 by NYRB Classics (first published 1962)
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I don't expect that everyone will love this book as much as I did--it happens to be a subject that I enjoy a lot, but would probably rank with what my husband calls "boring books". I read it with my Sunset Western Garden book nearby so I could look up all the plants--he's comfortable with Latin names, I don't know them as well.

Of course, since his gardens were mostly in Europe and England the choices of plants were often not possible here--still I loved the principles he laid out for planning a...more
Oh, Russ. The man knows what he likes.

"I like gardens with good bones and an affirmed underlying structure; I like well-made and well-marked paths, well-built walls, well-defined changes in level. I like pools and canals, paved sitting places and a good garden house in which to picnic or take a nap. I like brickwork and ashlar and coursed drywalling, a well-timbered bridge, well-designed wooden gates, simple wrought iron balustrading or a wooden grille through which to peer. I like bands of roun...more
One of my favorite gardening books of all time. This is the book that inspired me to think carefully before putting a plant into the ground. How will that plant relate to the garden as a whole, to the plants around it, could it be used to greater effect in some other location? Mr. Page was always thinking in terms of structure, vistas, coloration, seasonality and mood. While I'm more of a fair weather gardener, the wisdom contained in this book has proven invaluable, and I'm a better fair weathe...more
The best way to appreciate Russell Page is in his own words: "To have "green" fingers or a "green" thumb is an old expression which describs the art of communicating the subtle energies of love to prosper a living plant." (p. 16) When it comes to prose his touch is not as light, so I found myself digging in clay and quite tired by the end of a chapter. Written in 1962.
Mar 17, 2008 Andrea rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: errbody (in the club)
Recommended to Andrea by: an indie bookstore in potrero hill
I wrote this one on my arm (so I wouldn't forget). I felt that it applied to making films, not just garden design—especially since it turns out that garden design (like film) must take into account space, time, composition, scale...

"...I have to see that each added detail takes its correct place and weight, that it is a contribution and not a distraction."

Barbara Drufovka

More a reference than a narrative, I pick it up and re-read parts of it again and again through the years for inspiration.

A good companion is The Gardens of Russell Page by Marina Schinz & Gabrielle van Zuylen, a coffee table book of photographs of his gardens that survive.
So far...He is a designer, an artist, and the world is his canvas. Growing things are his palette. His wisdom stretches far beyond gardening and even design...I'm finding all kinds of life-truths here.
Karen Tripson
He was a wonderful writer. I learned a lot about the history of garden design and horticulture as well as got ideas for my own tiny urban plot.
Nov 25, 2007 Toni rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: celebrity gardeners
Gardening for the Rich and Famous--lots of photos of huge water features on the palace grounds. Actually quite dull.
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NYRB Classics: The Education of a Gardener, by Russell Page 2 2 Oct 22, 2013 09:14PM  
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“If you wish to make anything grow, you must understand it, and understand it in a very real sense. 'Green fingers' are a fact, and a mystery only to the unpracticed. But green fingers are the extensions of a verdant heart.” 11 likes
“Limitations imply possibilities. A problem is a challenge.” 0 likes
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