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First published in 1870, The Wild Garden challenged the prevailing garden style of the day and advocated a naturalistic style, in which hardy plants, both native and exotic, are arranged in groupings that mimic wild landscapes. Thanks to Robinson’s passionate advocacy, the naturalistic style triumphed, and Robinson's urgent message continues to resonate today. For this newly designed edition, Rick Darke has written an introductory essay that not only underscores Robinson’s importance in the evolution of garden design and ecology, but also explains his relevance for today’s gardeners, designers, and landscape professionals. The book contains over 100 stunning photographs taken by Darke, including images of Gravetye and of modern “wild” gardens.
About the Author
Rick Darke is a landscape design consultant, author, lecturer, and photographer based in Pennsylvania who blends art, ecology, and cultural geography in the creation and conservation of livable landscapes. His projects include scenic byways, public gardens, corporate and collegiate campuses, mixed-use conservation developments, and residential gardens. Darke served on the staff of Longwood Gardens for twenty years and received the Scientific Award of the American Horticultural Society. His work has been featured in the New York Times and on National Public Radio. Darke is recognized as one of the world's experts on grasses and their use in public and private landscapes. For further information visit www.rickdarke.com.
William Robinson (1838–1935) emigrated from Ireland at a young age and was rapidly welcomed into the top echelons of British horticulture and botany. By 1866 he was a Fellow in the Linnean Society, sponsored by his friend Charles Darwin. Already an expert on the flora of the British Isles, he traveled the breadth of North America by train in 1870, observing regional habitats and forging lasting connections with Charles Sargent, Asa Gray, Frederick Law Olmsted, and others of their stature. Robinson was just thirty-two when he first published The Wild Garden, which has proved to be the most insightful, influential, and enduring of his many books and journals. Robinson's brilliance and enormous personal energy enabled him to become one of the most accomplished gardeners, editors, and publishers of his era, and he is often referred to as the Father of the English Flower Garden. Gravetye Manor, a sixteenth-century house which survives on over one-thousand acres in West Sussex, became his home and laboratory for developing and refining the wild garden concept.
“In his new book, The Wild Garden: Expanded Edition, Darke teams up across the ages—time-machine style—with a kindred spirit: William Robinson. . . . Both men were ahead of their times.” —Garden Design
“This new edition is two books in one, and a handsome volume at that. Henry Mitchell said it all when he claimed gardeners owe all to William Robinson. We do, and this book is the perfect way to appreciate that statement.” —Gardens Illustrated
“This new, expanded edition. . . . is essential reading for today’s ecologically minded gardens.” —Landscape Architecture
“I’m giving a big Thumbs Up to Rick Darke’s updating of William Robinson’s classic The Wild Garden.” —Garden Rant
“If there was but one book on our garden library shelf, William Robinson’s The Wild Garden would be the single tome, at once revolutionary and oozing charm. . . . With photographer and writer Rick Darke’s added chapters and insight, we understand more than ever the wisdom and urgency of Robinson’s garden gospel.” —Chicago Tribune
“Rick Darke retains all the original’s beautiful engraved illustrations while augmenting them with his own rich color photographs.” —Martha’s Vineyard Times
“Rick Darke could well be Robinson’s reincarnation.” —Ottawa Citizen
“Robinson’s seminal work set forth a vision of the naturalistic approach that informed gardening for generations. . . . With photographer and writer Darke’s added chapters and insight, we understand more than ever the wisdom and urgency of Robinson’s garden gospel.” —Tuscaloosa News
“Will truly inspire you. Originally published in 1870, [it] remained in print for more than 50 years with a message that is just as revolutionary today.” —Wenatchee World