The Story of Gardening by Penelope Hobhouse

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Penelope Hobhouse, the legendary authority on garden history, composes a beautifully crafted, lavishly illustrated history of gardening over millennia. From the cooling fountains of the Alhambra to the clean lines of the French parterre, The Story of Gardening draws fascinating connections among gardens across time and place. Hobhouse addresses styles and techniques from all over the world, revealing the origins of the world's most magnificent gardens. Award-winning journalist and garden historian Ambra Edwards worked alongside Hobhouse to bring this comprehensive classic up-to-date with today's most recent garden developments and trends.

"After finishing [The Story of Gardening], I wanted to rush out and create something marvelous, or at least see some of the gardens featured in the book that I have yet to visit."  - The Washington Post

"This fabulously illustrated volume starts with the ancient Sumerians and takes readers through history by way of the styles, techniques and philosophies of gardening in cultures around the world....Any reader will appreciate the amazing visuals, including gorgeous photography of significant gardens all over the world and art featuring plants and gardens from throughout history. The true enthusiast will enjoy digging in for both unexpected tidbits and a context that's much broader than expected."  - Shelf Awareness
"It's an opportune time for an update to this lavishly illustrated history of gardening and landscaping. The Story of Gardening might sit (heavily) on a coffee table, but it transports the reader out into the yard or the park with some new perspectives and ambitions. We all appreciate green space more than ever these days. As always, gardens offer the promise of beauty, serenity, artistry and practicality. They're also a relatively safe place to spend time, and gardening as a pursuit has taken off in the age of coronavirus." - Associated Press

"Breathtaking...As much a showcase of gardening styles and techniques from around the globe as it is a history, The Story of Gardening is an irreplaceable contribution to gardening literature."  - Foreword Reviews


Penelope Hobhouse is a garden writer, garden designer, garden historian, lecturer and gardener. For fourteen years until 1993 with her husband, Professor John Malins, she was in charge of the National Trust Gardens at Tintinhull House in Somerset. Today she lives in Dorset and travels in Europe, Australia and the United States lecturing and designing gardens.

Award-winning writer and garden historian, Ambra Edwards is the author of the National Trust's definitive history of English gardens, The Story of the English Garden, as well as the acclaimed Head Gardeners. Her work appears regularly in the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and leading garden journals and she has been named Garden Media Guild's Journalist of the Year three times and received Inspirational Book of the Year for Head Gardeners at the Garden Media Guild Awards.

Princeton Architectural Press

Pub Date: August 25, 2020

1.5" H x 10.1" L x 9.5" W 

512 pages