With its lush photographs and authoritative text this definitive history captures the exuberant past and dynamic present of the California garden. Ranging from the pragmatic plantings of the Spanish missions through Victorian fantasies and Hollywood extravagances and culminating in up-to-the-minute drought-tolerant gardens, California Gardens: Creating a New Eden provides a thought-provoking, eye-dazzling chronicle of the state's diverse garden traditions. Offering ideas and examples that will inspire all gardeners and garden lovers, David C. Streatfield recounts how amateurs, architects, landscape designers, and nurserymen have created the gardens of their dreams.
His ground-breaking text - in preparation for over twenty years - illuminates how California's ecology, economy, and the importation of exotic plants and styles have shaped its gardens and ultimately influenced garden design around the world. The various ways that landscape architecture and architecture have intertwined in the last two centuries are explored with particular insightfulness. Some of the finest architects and landscape architects of this century - Charles and Henry Greene, Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Thomas Church, Lockwood de Forest, Garrett Eckbo, and Florence Yoch - have shaped the landscape of California in distinctive ways.
Contemporary and historical color photographs by some of the country's best garden photographers are complemented by rare black-and-white archival illustrations and detailed plans. Two invaluable appendices provide biographies of the major designers and information about visiting the public gardens cited in the book.