#Book Review #ARC – Winter Gardens: Reinventing the Season; C. Pollet

Let’s be honest here, it’s hard to tank a photography book. People like me are 100% okay with spectacular pictures and little else—as long as they’re good, it’s all right by us. Bring it.

Still, even if my eye is trained to look at beauty, there are books able to blow me away. Ladies, gents, and non-binary folks, meet Winter Gardens by Cedric Pollet.

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In this stunning reimagination of an entire season, acclaimed and award-winning author and photographer Cedric Pollet presents 20 of the most beautiful winter gardens across France and the UK.

Winner of the Garden Media Guild – Garden Book of the Year award, Pollet showcases these breathtaking winter gardens which are at their best when most gardens are at their barest.

Rich with blazes of colour and light, these gardens use creative structural planning and subtle textures to greate masterful visual and sensory ensembles.

From berries and barks to vibrant shrubs and evergreens, these gardens will delight and inspire in equal measure, all captured in extroardinary photographs by Pollet, one of today’s masters of garden photography and accompanied by insightful text which picks out the reasons these gardens are so special.

The second half of the book is an illustrated directory of over 300 plants which encourage you to achieve these effects in their own gardens.

From the author of bestselling Bark: An Intimate Look at the World’s Trees, this beautiful guide is a unique and unmissable book on some of the most creative and inspiring gardens around today.

224 pages
Photography, gardening
Quarto Publishing Group – White Lion
Goodreads

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Cover: Well, I’m not sure why Pollet didn’t go for a more vibrant picture here – Marks Hall Gardens & Arboretum (pg. 89) would have been a brilliant choice, for example.

Yay!

  • So, you say winter, you say garden, and your standard reaction would be meh. Winter is the season of bare trees, pines, and rotten leaves, right? Wrong. Gardens are alive in winter too, just in a different way. It’s less in-your-face, that life, subtler than the typical pomp of Summer and Fall, but it’s there. Pollet’s mission with Winter Gardens is to bring them into the spotlight, showing us a different kind of beauty. 
  • Magnificent pictures, and I really like the color scheme. The prevalence of red and white creates striking contrasts, even more so when green elements are present in the picture. Some remind me of art installations (Cornus alba and Helleborus foetida, pg. 100) 
  • Wonderful variety of plants and gardens!
  • Winter Gardens is split into two main sections plus a Four Favorites chapter right at the beginning. Source of Inspiration and the Plant Palette complete the book, with the first showcasing gardens and the latter focusing on practicality and aesthetic. It’s rather informative too— say, the concept of decorative bark is news to me. 
  • Pollet’s writing style can be technical and informative without being boring. It’s also well-edited, a feature I’m starting to anticipate (and highfive!) in every Quarto Publishing book.

Special mention:

  • La Pommeraie.
  • Eucalyptus pauciflora. Its trunk is white. 
  • Didrangea versicolor, with its blue berries
  • Berberis ‘Gorgei’, red fruits. 
  • Cambridge University Botanic Garden.
  • Bressingham Gardens.

Nay!

  • I would have loved a better caption system. A picture = a caption works best. 

TL;DR


5 stars on GR.

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