Gardens of Awe and Folly

by Ariane ~ March 6, 2016


I’m not used to reviewing books on this blog, but I need to make an exception for the newly published Gardens of Awe and Folly by Vivian Swift (Bloomsbury). It is the kind of book that puts a smile on your face when you look at it on the coffee table. The book that you want to re-read as soon as you’ve finished it. Humorous, imaginative, poetic, tender, insightful, and absolutely beautiful because of the many lovely watercolors by the author.

Vivian Swift made her very personal selection of gardens that matter to her and tells stories about them. As she puts it, “If all you ask of a garden is What?, then all you’ll probably get in reply is a planting list. But ask, instead, Why? How? When? and, most of all, Who? and then you’re in for a nice, long conversation. This book is a collection of the conversations I’ve had with nine gardens that had a lot to say.”

For an idea of chapter one, you can have a look at Vivian Swift’s blog. You will see how much she loves Paris… If you browse to older posts, you will learn more about Vivian’s next project: a book on Giverny, especially on how to paint Giverny. She makes it sound so easy and fun!


3 Responses to “Gardens of Awe and Folly”

  1. Margie Says:

    I too am in love with Vivian’s latest book. Beautiful job describing it. I popped over as she was talking about you, the gardens, etc. on one of her recent posts. I am crazy about Vivian too. She is a hoot and a half. You had the pleasure of meeting her in person and she you. Maybe someday I will meet Vivian. It’s on my wish list. Cheers!

  2. Diane in Denver Says:

    Merci tant, Ariane, for this wonderful review of Vivian’s new book. GoAaF is a joy and a marvel. I am loving every page and oh, those watercolor illustrations!

  3. bubblers Says:

    What a great looking book, thank you for sharing, can’t wait to pick this one up!

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