jueves, 26 de mayo de 2016

The Education of a Gardener

In the March 29th New York Times Style Magazine there is an announcement that London’s Garden Museum is presenting an exhibition of the work of British landscape designer Russell Page through June 21st.  For the first time his notes, personal photographs and unrealized design sketches are on view, providing insight into one of the most influential horticultural talents of the 20th century who humbly described himself as, “the most famous garden designer no one has ever heard of.”

Despite his self-effacement, Page’s sole literary endeavor, The Education of a Gardener (1962), was for many years the only gardening book included in the New York Review of Book’s hand-picked classics (recently joined by Katherine White’s Onward and Upward in the Garden).  The Education of a Gardener is one of the best guides to designing and planting a garden ever written. I reread my dog-eared copy, the 1983 edition seen below, often.

About the Author

He studied painting at the Slade School of Art in London, completing his training in Paris. He returned to England in 1932 and thanks to André de Vilmorin became interested in landscaping and garden design.

In 1935 he began working with Geoffrey Jellicoe also landscaper, next to which design the 'Caveman Restaurant' in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, but their employment relationship did not work. In 1962 he wrote The Education of a Gardener, a story of classic and Islamic gardens. Between 1945 and 1962 he lived in France.

He designed gardens both in Europe and in the United States. Among his clients Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor and Duchess of Windsor, Leopold III of Belgium, William Walton were - creating Lady Susana Walton beside the gardens of La Mortella - Babe Paley and William S. Paley, Oscar de la Renta Marcel Boussac, Olive, Lady Baillie, PepsiCo, and the Frick Collection.

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