Stephen Anderton's new book on gardens of Wales, photographed by Charles Hawes, came out almost simultaneously with yet another book on gardens of Wales. This is the one to buy. Anderton's historical commentary and critical assessment of the gardens he visits give them a reality that far surpasses the usual travelogue with photos. Charles Hawes photographs pick out detail and features that help give the reader an understanding of the spatial "narrative" of the gardens, and provide the necessary visual support to make Anderton's ideas easily accessible.
The nicks and shortcomings of some of the gardens Anderton describes give them a reality, for me, that the other book on gardens of Wales lacks. He places each garden within the larger landscape, writes about the light and exposure, spatial relationships, flaws, successes, "workarounds" to deal with difficult sites, the layered history of such old gardens as Powis Castle, all of which left me with a three-dimensional visual memory of the gardens. From the distance of a few months since reading this book, it's almost like I was really in these gardens -- the quality of the memories is as real as that of gardens I have actually visited.
Click on the photo to purchase this book from Amazon, or go to your favorite book store.