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About “Eccentrics of the English Garden: Three Hundred Years of Extraordinary Groves, Burrows, Mountains and Menageries”

In his new book, English garden eccentrics (2022), renowned landscape architect and historian Todd Longstaffe-Gowan reveals a series of eccentric English gardeners who, between the early 17th and early 20th centuries, created intensely personal and idiosyncratic gardens. These fascinating individuals, including the bird-loving Lady Read, the superstitious antiquarian William Stukeley, and the brooding anti-pleasure garden owner Jonathan Tyres, built miniature mountains, fashioned topiary, exhibited exotic animals, dug caves, and assembled architectural fragments and fossils to complete their gardens in a way that was, and often still is, considered excessive.

English garden eccentrics brings together the history of gardens and landscape with cultural history and biography. The book engagingly reveals what is eccentric about the gardener and his creation and focuses on an area of ​​garden history little explored before: gardens seen as expressions of the singular character of their creators. , and therefore functioning, in effect, as a form of autobiography.