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Hardcover | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780262132312 | 272 pp. | 8.5 x 11 in | November 1988
Paperback | $42.00 X | £31.95 | ISBN: 9780262631532 | 272 pp. | 8.5 x 11 in | August 1993

Instructor Resources

The Poetics of Gardens

About the Authors

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.

William Turnbull, Jr. is Principal of William Turnbull Associates, San Francisco.


“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


“A lively and provacative presentation of great places and ideas that underlie them. I know of no book that looks as sympathetically and knowingly at gardens and garden design.”
William I. Porter, Professor of Architecture, MIT
“The authors look in a very fresh and innovative way at famous gardens designed in the past: as valuable and plausible sources for inspiration and learning and establishing a method for the design of contemporary gardens incorporating not only spatial, but sensory and poetic feelings.”
Mario Schjetnan Garduño, University of Arizona and Mexico
“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