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Paperback | $40.00 Text | £27.95 | ISBN: 9780262631532 | 272 pp. | 8.5 x 11 in | August 1993

Instructor Resources

The Poetics of Gardens


This is an entirely different garden book: a pattern book in which a score of landscapes and gardens are drawn, described, and analyzed not just as a bouquet of pleasures but as sources, lodes to be mined for materials, shapes and relationships, and ideas for transforming our own backyards.

Charles W. Moore, one of America's best-known architects, is O'Neil Ford Professor of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. William J. Mitchell is Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, and Professor of Architecture and Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. William Turnbull, Jr., is Principal of William Turnbull Associates, San Francisco.

About the Author

William J. Mitchell was the Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr., Professor of Architecture and Media Arts and Sciences and directed the Smart Cities research group at MIT’s Media Lab.


"Here at last is a book destined to restore a more affectionate and personal relationship with the garden. Charmingly written, profusely illustrated, this handsome book introduces the reader to the beauty and wide variety of gardens - from the landscape designs of ancient China and India to those of Capability Brown and Walt Disney and the modem American suburban homeowner."
John B. Jackson, landscape historian

"The authors begin by establishing some basic principles of gardening, then go on to discuss 20 gardens from places as diverse as ancient Rome to Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom... . A provocative, challenging work."
—Washington Post

"The book is theoretical, challenging, and a literary delight. That three architects, two of them professors, could have produced a book so felicitously written, and without a single footnote, astonishes me. Their breadth of teaming is dazzling. The subtlety and clarity of their insights fill me with admiration."
Christopher Reed, Horticulture