The Irish Garden
Visitors to Ireland are often surprised at the 'palm trees' that make so many gardens look as if they belong in a holiday postcard. How can such exotics survive on an island that is as far north as the prairies of Canada and the pine forests of Siberia? The answer lies in the tail of the Gulf Stream - the North Atlantic Drift - which wraps around this green land on the western edge of Europe. Its warm and watery embrace bestows the renowned 'soft' climate that allows those palm trees (in fact, New Zealand cordylines) to make their homes here - along with tree ferns from Australia and bananas from Japan. Plants from colder regions, including rhododendrons, primulas and all manner of alpines, are equally happy. So, with a range of plants that runs from the subtropical to the subarctic, and a landscape that varies from gently pastoral to savagely rugged, the aptly named Emerald Isle has some of the most romantic and interesting gardens in the world. The Irish Garden visits over forty of Ireland's most beautiful gardens, ranging from the grand old demesnes of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy to the intensely personal creations of passionate plantsmen and garden makers. The result of a lifetime visiting, considering and writing about gardens in Ireland, and several years of dedicated photography, this is a truly comprehensive exploration of a fascinating subject.
JANE POWERS was born in Ireland to American parents, and spent her childhood moving back and forth between the United States and Ireland. Both her parents were writers. She has been writing about gardens and gardening in Irish and British publications for 20 years, and is the gardening correspondent for The Sunday Times, Ireland. She has also written about environmental matters, low impact and ethical living, food, property, art, crafts, and life in general - but her abiding love is gardens and gardening, and the people, plants and places involved. Her first book, The Living Garden: a place that works with nature, was published in 2011. A German translation, Living Garden, was published in 2013 (by Verlag Freies Geistesleben). The Irish Garden is her second book. It will be the first major book on Irish gardens in well over a decade. Jane lives and gardens in Dun Laoghaire, a coastal town near Dublin. She manages her garden organically, and with respect to the rhythms of nature. Jane Powers blogs at onebeanrow.com JONATHAN HESSION is an Irish photographer who specialises in taking publicity photos on film sets. He has worked on most of the major feature films that have been shot in Ireland over the last two decades. He is also a keen landscape photographer and his book, The Atlantic Coast of Ireland, was published by Frances Lincoln in 2014. He is married to Jane Powers who has opened his eyes to the world of garden photography. They live in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin.