Books written by garden designers can often turn out to be ersatz portfolios meant to promote the author’s own projects for posterity’s sake. English landscape designer Dan Pearson has written a new book that does quite the opposite.
Spirit: Garden Inspiration (Fuel publishing, $45) is a gentle ramble not through Mr. Pearson’s many projects, but through his mind and life as a gardener and garden-maker. The unifying narrative thread can be hard to follow, mainly due to the sparse or sometimes nonexistent photo captions. But it is this impressionistic approach that makes this ethereal book stand apart from its more workaday how-to counterparts. “I think none of us spend enough time looking,” Mr. Pearson said. “I wanted to encourage subtlety whether it was a garden, a time, a place, a sculpture or a piece of architecture.”
Seen as a group, the photographs of gardens, art and landscapes, mainly taken by Mr. Pearson around the world over the past couple of decades, focus his creative eye into something that lies between the introverted style of a diary and the best, most idiosyncratic aspects of a blog given permanence between hard covers.