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250 × 190 × 27 mm
304 pages
174 illustrations, 166 in colour
01 Nov 2015

The Making of Place Modern and Contemporary Gardens John Dixon Hunt

Gardening is rich in tradition, and many gardens are explicitly designed to refer to or honour the past. But garden design is also rich in innovation, and in The Making of Place John Dixon Hunt explores the wide varieties of approaches, aesthetics and achievements in garden design throughout the world today. 

From imposing sculptures discovered in woodlands or on hilly trails to community gardens, and along disused rail tracks to ones made on inhospitable seashores, this book offers insights into the history and makeup of contemporary gardens, whether they reflect the priorities of modern society, bring new ideas and materials into the world, or seek the reinvention of ancient cultures. The modern botanical gardens, sculpture parks, campuses, memorial gardens and vernacular gardens examined showcase the differences between cultures and countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United States, China and Australia. 

The Making of Place offers an accessible tour of modern garden landscapes that gives non-designers as well as specialists a new view of the created outdoor world around them. Richly illustrated, it is sure to enchant and inspire even the most modest of home gardeners.

‘This is an invaluable source to help us trace that garden or that designer that we have come across but cant remember the details. The author draws together a deep knowledge of garden history alongside his observations on the modern art of place-making, and uses a vibrant lexicon to discuss hundreds of years of descriptions and influences of gardens past. The illustrations help to navigate the places he refers to but are not essential it is the text that shines out.’ — The Garden

‘John Dixon Hunt has added yet another gem to his string of distinguished books on garden history with the publication of The Making of Place, a masterly analysis of modern gardens from several countries in and beyond his adopted United States . . . the book offers an accessible tour of modern garden landscapes (including new botanical gardens, small parks and seldom noticed university campus gardens), giving non-designers as well as specialists a fresh view of the created outdoor world around them.’ — Hortus

‘Far too many books on contemporary gardens are aimed at the coffee-table rather than the library, concerned more with flattering a select body of individual designers than informing the reader about the current state of garden-making. Here is a scholarly, critically rigorous but very readable and well-illustrated account of gardens around the world today’ — A Magazine

The Making of Place taught me about many architects and projects I was not aware of, thanks to the discussion of what Id wager is at least one hundred gardens. Not all of the places are masterpieces nor are documented with some of the many photographs provided, but this is where Hunts critical voice is most important: his commentary expresses what is important about each garden, what can be learned from them, and how they have influenced subsequent landscapes. Unlike other Hunt books, which are geared to people with an existing knowledge of landscape history and theory, this book is rewarding for those who might not have a heavy background in garden design but bring with them a strong interest in the subject.’ — A Daily Dose of Architecture

‘The extraordinary range of approaches and styles one sees in gardens throughout the world, in different countries and different cultures can be quite bewildering. It is fortunate to have one such as John Dixon Hunt, who seems to have a comprehensive knowledge and grasp of all matters of garden design, to organise such divergent and wide-ranging approaches and present them to us in a way that is easily comprehended . . . he presents a wealth of information and comment in a manner which is a pleasure to read and which gives the reader an overview of the current landscape and gardening scene quite an achievement and a joy to read.’ — Irish Garden Plant Society Newletter

‘Praise for A World of Gardens: In this fascinating series of illustrated essays, John Dixon Hunt explores the influences behind the design of gardens around the globe and uncovers recurring themes throughout the ages. Ideal for both garden visitors and students of design.’ — The English Garden

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John Dixon Hunt is Emeritus Professor of the History and Theory of Landscape at the University of Pennsylvania. His previous books include The Wider Sea: A Life of John Ruskin (1992) and The Making of Place (Reaktion, 2015).


Introduction: Typologies & our Improvisations

1. Domestic & Gardener’s Gardens

2. Master’s Gardens

3. Festival and Exhibition Gardens

4. Vernacular Gardening

5. Parks

6. Small Parks: Pocket, Linear & Vertical

7. Campus & Institutional Parks & Gardens

8. Memorials

9. Botanical Gardens

10. Sculpture Gardens

11. Drosscapes

12. Re-invented Gardens

13. Gardens on Paper