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The Authentic Garden: Five Principles for Cultivating a Sense of Place

By Claire E. Sawyers

I can almost promise you that you'll look at your garden in a new way after you read this book.

Chicago Daily Herald

What makes a garden "authentic"? For American gardeners, this question can be vexing. Because America is a comparatively young nation, it hasn't had much time to develop an indigenous garden style. Gardeners have therefore tended to turn to other national traditions for inspiration. The unhappy result of this piecemeal stylistic borrowing has been the creation of gardens that bear no relationship to local landscapes and history, and that have no connection with our daily lives. In this cogently reasoned and persuasively argued volume, Claire Sawyers shows us how this tendency can be reversed: how we can create gardens that are both deeply rooted in their surroundings and deeply satisfying to their creators and owners.

Media reviews

"[Sawyers] offers much to think about."

—Virginia A. Smith, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Shows how we can create gardens that are both deeply rooted in their surroundings and deeply satisfying to their creators and owners."

Sierra Heritage Magazine

"I can almost promise you that you'll look at your garden in a new way after you read this book."

—Jan Riggenbach, Daily Herald (Chicago)

"A must-have book for anyone involved with landscape design and a delightful gift for any homeowner who wants to create a more usable and personal outdoor space."

—Marianne Binetti, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"[Sawyers] demonstrates that the most successful landscapes are ones where the owners or designers have observed and worked with the spirit of place rather than struggled against it."

—Debra Prinzing, American Gardener

"Another quality gardening title from Timber Press, full of photographs and practical information."

Toronto Botanical Garden Library

About the author

Claire E. Sawyers

Claire Sawyers is director of the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, and brings both U.S. and international perspectives to her work. The recipient of several awards, she presently serves as a commissioner for the accreditation program of the American Association of Museums.

Read more about Claire E. Sawyers

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