Posts Tagged ‘ the gardens of japan ’

A new feature – La Foce, Tuscany

wisteria at la foce

Wisteria tunnel at La Foce

An appropriately spring-like feature in the current issue of Country Life magazine¬† (21st April edition) is Helena Attlee’s piece about the garden of La Foce in Tuscany, made by Cecil Pinsent for Iris Origo and her husband in the 1930’s. One of its major features is the wisteria tunnel, which we were lucky enough to find in full flower when we visited it last May.

I’m just back from a short trip to Cornwall, where I went to photograph the amazing magnolias at Caerhays Castle, some of the trees being as large as a full-grown elm – an astonishing sight, though so high that I really should have brought a field camera with me. Nikon make a couple of good lenses with a fair range of movements – may have to be this summer’s expensive acquisition.

magnolia

Magnolia at Caerhays Castle

The Gardens of Japan continues to do reasonably well – the French edition has now sold out so they’re reprinting there too, and it had a good review from Robin Lane Fox in Saturday’s FT – you can read it here.

Fire Down Below

house on fire

Central heating

A couple of heat-related matters this week. The first involved waking early on Saturday morning to find a huge column of smoke rising into a clear sky from the derelict house over the road. It was a strange, quiet, unhurried scene – a couple of fire engines and three or four early morning spectators idly watching the firemen go about their business. A perfect fire, really; nobody hurt, a rather ugly house (deserted for years) destroyed, the whole thing giving entirely innocent pleasure to all who saw it.

The second thought inevitably involves the real fire down below, i.e. the one underneath Iceland. I may be behind the times on this, but it seems odd that no-one has yet mentioned Dunkirk. Surely here is the model for the way to repatriate desperate British families marooned in a garlic-smelling ashy mist on the Continent, surrounded by untrustworthy foreigners. Small-boat sailors of Britain, now is your hour! (An update – it looks as if real life has caught up with me, to judge by the latest news)

Finally, I’m pleased to say that The Gardens of Japan is already being reprinted, less than a month after publication. Onward and upward!

No Such Thing As A Free Launch

Well, that’s got The Gardens of Japan off to a good start. A hundred or so friends, family and acqaintances came and made a determined attempt to drink us dry in the intervals of saying nice things to Helena and I about the book. They bought a copy or three as well, I’m relieved to say. David & Sara Bamford generously offered us their beautiful new cafe and gallery as a location for the launch and the accompanying small exhibition. A very good evening altogether, and we even managed, just, to cover the cost of putting it on. Gone, alas,¬† are the glory days when books went hurtling down the slipway awash with the publisher’s champagne.

Book launch

some of the multitude

If you missed it, the exhibition is on until May 2nd at The Workhouse Gallery, Presteigne, LD8 2UF (01544 267864). Opening hours are 10 – 4 from Tuesday to Saturday, 12 – 4 on Sundays, closed Mondays. Copies of the book are also on sale, as are some of Jake Hobson‘s beautiful Japanese gardening implements. Oh, and if you’ve seen the book – and like it – we’d be grateful for a brief review or rating on Amazon. Thanks!

Our glamorous girls man the bar

A new feature – the Telegraph Magazine, Saturday 6th March

Ginkaku-ji Temple

The gravel garden at Ginkaku-ji, Kyoto

In tomorrow’s Telegraph Magazine, extracts and pictures from The Gardens of Japan. Just a taster – I’m afraid you still have to buy the book, which is published on the 25th March. Visit and support your local independent bookseller for choice, but if like us you’re miles from anywhere, you can always get it from guess who (link on the book cover below)
The Gardens of Japan

The Gardens of Japan – first review

Our first review for The Gardens of Japan, and we really couldn’t ask for a better one. It’s in the current (March) issue of Gardens Illustrated and is by Charles Quest-Ritson, to whom all thanks. “Ravishingly beautiful and inspirational” – yes, we can live with that. Official publication date is the 25th March, though some bookshops already seem to have stock.

Ryoan-ji Temple, Kyoto

A weeping cherry overhangs the famous ochre wall at Ryoan-ji Temple

New book – The Gardens of Japan

Quite unexpectedly, a FedEx van has just made its way into mid-Wales and down our snowy drive to deliver advance copies of our next book, The Gardens of Japan (Frances Lincoln Ltd), though it’s not due out until March 25th. Very pleased, and even more surprised that there were copies of the French co-edition as well, which we knew nothing about (or more likely had forgotten about)The Gardens of Japan

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