Regardless of the season, garden travel books are a godsend. They allow gardeners to plan upcoming trips and experience second-hand gardens they haven’t yet seen. There are a wide range of books on the subject with the following being some of the best.
“1001 Gardens You Must See Before You Die” with general editor Rae Spencer-Jones was published by Barron’s Educational Series. The gardens are arranged by continent. Within each section the individual gardens are organized according to their theme, purpose, or history. At the front of the book is an alphabetical listing of all the gardens.
For each garden, there is an in-depth profile with details on its size, location, climate, style, history, origins, and features. There are color photos for most of the gardens as well. An appendix has a list of useful addresses and a list of the gardens by country along with notes about climate zones.
“Taj Mahal-Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire” by Diana and Michael Preston was published by Walker and Co. There’s never been a book like this one. Here readers can learn everything they would possibly want to know about this World Treasure site. The authors reveal not only the rich history and origins of the shrine. They go much further by placing it within the history of the empire. This offers a compelling account of the life and times during the era. The canal gardens of the site are among the best known in the world. The gardens and grounds cover some 40 acres. This title is illustrated with black and white photos as well as color.
Anyone planning a trip to Pompeii and the surrounding areas will do well to obtain a copy of “Ashen Sky-the Letters of Pliny the Younger on the Eruption of Vesuvius. Published by Getty Publications, this hardcover has absolutely touching relief engravings by renowned artist Barry Moser. He used descriptions given in the letters as his subjects. This title features a new translation of the letters, which were written at the request of Roman historian Tacitus concerning the author’s account of the eruption, its effects, and the resulting death of his uncle, Pliny the Elder. There are maps as well. There is a comprehensive introduction to the area, the volcano, which places the letters within their historical context along with biographies of Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, and Tacitus.
“Tivoli Gardens” by Harry Bensen was released by Harry N. Abrams. This is among the most popular sites in Copenhagen. It covers an area of 15 acres or so, and includes of extensive gardens as well as the amusement park within the grounds. One of the best times to visit is in the spring when well over 100,000 spring bulbs burst into bloom. The large coffee table format does justice to the lush, full color photos. There are over 200 photos depicting the park throughout the seasons. An introduction by John Loring provides a complete history and account of Tivoli and what visitors can expect to see. The text is in both Danish and English.