The Garden Against Time: In Search Of A Common Paradise (Hardback)
  • The Garden Against Time: In Search Of A Common Paradise (Hardback)
  • The Garden Against Time: In Search Of A Common Paradise (Hardback)
  • The Garden Against Time: In Search Of A Common Paradise (Hardback)
  • The Garden Against Time: In Search Of A Common Paradise (Hardback)
  • The Garden Against Time: In Search Of A Common Paradise (Hardback)
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The Garden Against Time: In Search Of A Common Paradise (Hardback) The Garden Against Time: In Search Of A Common Paradise (Hardback) The Garden Against Time: In Search Of A Common Paradise (Hardback) The Garden Against Time: In Search Of A Common Paradise (Hardback)

The Garden Against Time: In Search Of A Common Paradise (Hardback)

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Hardback 336 Pages
Published: 02/05/2024
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Waterstones Says

Combining history, horticulture, art and biography, this stunning and erudite meditation on the role of the garden through Western culture from the author of The Lonely City ranges from John Milton to Derek Jarman in peerless prose.

A garden contains secrets, we all know that: buried elements that might put on strange growth or germinate in unexpected places. The garden that I chose had walls, but like every garden it was interconnected, wide open to the world.

In 2020, Olivia Laing began to restore a walled garden in Suffolk, an overgrown Eden of unusual plants. The work drew her into an exhilarating investigation of paradise and its long association with gardens. Moving between real and imagined gardens, from Milton’s Paradise Lost to John Clare’s enclosure elegies, from a wartime sanctuary in Italy to a grotesque aristocratic pleasure ground funded by slavery, Laing interrogates the sometimes shocking cost of making paradise on earth.

But the story of the garden doesn’t always enact larger patterns of privilege and exclusion. It’s also a place of rebel outposts and communal dreams. From the improbable queer utopia conjured by Derek Jarman on the beach at Dungeness to the fertile vision of a common Eden propagated by William Morris, new modes of living can and have been attempted amidst the flower beds, experiments that could prove vital in the coming era of climate change.

The result is a humming, glowing tapestry, a beautiful and exacting account of the abundant pleasures and possibilities of gardens: not as a place to hide from the world but as a site of encounter and discovery, bee-loud and pollen-laden.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781529066678
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 519 g
Dimensions: 224 x 144 x 31 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

What a wonderful book this is. I loved the enchanting and beautifully written story but also the fascinating and thoughtful excursions along the way - Nigel Slater

No one writes with more energy and ecstasy than Olivia Laing. This book is what we need right now: paradise, regained - Philip Hoare

This book is as imaginatively structured and full of beauties and surprises as the garden whose creation it documents. - Lucy Hughes-Hallett, author of The Pike: Gabriele D'Annunzio, Poet, Seducer and Preacher of War

An extraordinary and important work. I felt doubly alive after reading it. The book is an inspiration. - Celia Paul, author of Self-Portrait

Olivia Laing is my favourite non-fiction writer, and it is a joy to encounter her brilliant mind again in The Garden Against Time. It is a magisterial work, and the exacting sensuality of her garden writing is pure pleasure, delight, surprise. It is a triumph, from a writer at the height of her powers - Francesca Segal

Olivia Laing has written a book about making her garden, which is by turns lyrical, consoling, disturbing and inspiring. It’s a book for thinking gardeners everywhere - Mary Keen

Powerful, reflective and captivating to read - I loved it. - Fergus Garrett

A sharp and enthralling memoir of the garden’s contradiction: dream and reality, life and death, the fascination of cultivation and the political horrors that it can disguise - Neil Tennant

The most magical writing, intimate, insightful, learned and brilliant. - Jeremy Lee, restaurateur and author of Cooking: Simply and Well, for One or Many

Quite literally unputdownable. It is astonishing, funny, beautiful, wise, charming and truthful. - Jinny Blom, author of What Makes a Garden

Laing probes important questions about land ownership and exclusion and the human drive to create paradise on earth. All the while, her elegant prose bewitches and beguiles. A truly wonderful read. - Sue Stuart-Smith, author of The Well Gardened Mind

Olivia Laing’s exploration of cultivation and dispossession is both arresting and irresistibly lyrical, confidently yet modestly drawn from a life entwined with plants and a gift for compelling biography. A timely and necessary reappraisal of the garden and its boundaries. - Matt Collins, Head Gardener at the Garden Museum

The Garden Against Time - Olivia Laing

The Garden Against Time - Olivia Laing

Walpole Old Chapel, Chapel Cottage, Halesworth Road , IP19 9AZ
Monday 1st July 18:30 - 20:00

Join us for a wonderful evening with author Olivia Laing in the spectacular historical setting of Walpole Old Chapel. Olivia will be in conversation with prize-winning Suffolk historian and novelist Lucy Hughes-Hallett.

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“She did it again!”

‘The Garden Against Time’ is a compelling exploration of the significance of gardens and yet another stunning example of Olivia Laing’s impeccable skills as a thinker and writer. Effortlessly interweaving personal... More

Hardback edition
1 similar book recommended
Helpful? Upvote 18

“Where flowers are, God is, and I’m free” (John Clare)”

Whilst restoring the renowned gardens of her new home, Olivia Laing has written a book about the pleasure to be found in gardening and gardens. Gardens and gardening are not only a pastime but also a refuge to find... More

Hardback edition
4 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 17

“Recommended for everyone”

Olivia Laing seems incapable of boring me, no matter how ignorant I feel on the topics she chooses. I’m not a gardening person, I didn’t recognise a single plant in here and I knew maybe 20% of her art or literary and... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 9

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