Gardeners are prone to wanderlust. This means books on garden travel make wonderful holiday gifts.
Here are some suitable titles. Insiders’ Guide, an imprint of The Globe Pequot Press, has released several boks of interest. “Gardenwalks in the Mid-Atlantic States-Beautiful Gardens from New York to Washington, DC” is by Marina Harrison and Lucy D. Rosenfeld. A companion title in the series is “Gardenwalks in New England-Beautiful Gardens from Maine to Connecticut.” The authors are lifelong friends and travel guidebook authors. These two volumes follow the same format. The New England title has separate chapters for the six states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont). The Mid-Atlantic title covers Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. This one features one chapter for each state with the exception of New York, which is divided into four regions (Hudson Valley, Long Island, New York City, and the Upstate).
Illustrated with beautiful line drawings, these have wonderful garden quotes. Each title has chapters on garden shows and festivals in the respective areas, tips on planning your trip, and a glossary. The index of the New England title lists the different landscapes and gardens as well as the leading garden designers, while the Mid-Atlantic one only lists the gardens.
The introductory chapter for each book is the same with an engaging overview of different garden styles, including everything from formal, informal, and rock gardens to topiary and sculpture gardens.
These garden guides are so easy to use. Within each chapter, the gardens are arranged and numbered alphabetically. The corresponding number refers to the map in each section, and shows the garden’s location. For each garden, the authors present highlights of what you can expect to see. They help you plan your trip by giving complete addresses, websites, contact information, directions, admission fees, and the times they are open. In some cases, there are also details on special events. While some of these are exceptional public gardens, others happen to be private ones that are also open to the public. The authors have selected a wide range of garden treasures in different styles, including eccentric, highly personal examples.
Each title has a wonderful trip planning tool called ‘Choosing an Outing.’ In this section, the different gardens are cross-referenced by garden style. Using this tool, you can quickly find the ones that appeal to you.
The University Press of Florida published “30 Eco-trips in Florida” by Holly Ambrose. This is part of the new Wild Florida Series. Written for those either moving or visiting the state, the series focuses on outdoor activities and natural history. The trips in this volume represent less-traveled spots with the very best of what the state has to offer. Ambrose is a veteran eco-tripper, publisher and editor of Eco Florida magazine. The trips are arranged by geographic region. For each one, the author provides a general overview of what to see and do, where to stay, all the recreational opportunities, outfitters and nature tours in the area. In addition to the main eco-trips the author also highlights nearby attractions as well. Throughout the book, Ambrose stresses how visitors can enjoy their trips while doing minimal damage to the environment.
Ten Speed Press has published “Beautiful Gardens of the Wine Country” with lush photos by renowned travel photographer Robert Holmes and text by Mimi Luebbermann. Presenting the most gorgeous of the northern California wineries, this beautifully conceived book takes the reader through more than 75 distinctive wineries. It is organized into three sections—garden themes, sculpture and water gardens, and the plants in full bloom. The garden styles include the very formal with parterres and allees to Asian-inspired ones and simple kitchen gardens. At the end of the book there is a complete list of the wineries and their contact information. Though this may not have been written specifically as a travel guide, it gives gardeners a broad sampling of what to expect. With Luebbermann’s wonderful introduction and text and Holmes’ gorgeous photos, this could also serve as an inspiring design book for gardeners.
“Discover the Winterthur Garden” by Denise Magnani features photography by Ray Magnani. This is part of the Discover Winterthur Series. It focuses specifically on the gardens, and how they were created over a period of years. The title reveals the pivotal role of Henry Francis du Pont. He made the gardens his life’s work, opening the gardens and museum to the public in 1931. This book explains the landscape design techniques he used, and provides a complete background and details for each section of the gardens, and what one can see. It is beautifully illustrated with color photos that show the gardens in full bloom. This also features historical black and whites as well.