David & Charles 1st 1988
4to F/VG++ 810 gms
(Order reference 9187).
In this celebration of the monastery garden the authors trace the fascinating history and look at a wide variety of gardens and themes – always bearing in mind those who want to get the best out of a visit, and those ever eager to gain hints on design and methods for their own garden.
Monastery gardens have always had special significance and design features and methods of crop raising and preservation, bee keeping, wine making and much else have been strongly influenced by what the monks did – while even today's great cathedral gardens pioneer and are worthy of attention.
The importance of gardens surrounding monasteries, cathedrals and abbeys is looked at in detail in this beautifully illustrated and evocative guide. These gardens were needed to provide food, medicine and shelter for the pioneering monks when establishing their communities. Salves, potions and healing remedies for the infirmary were grown as well as flowers and foliage for decorating the church on feast days.
With the aid of specially prepared plans, drawings, and photographs the book illustrates the growth and importance of individual and communal gardens at monastic establishments up to the time of the dissolution while tracing the history of monastic influence, much of the information being based on original research.
Bringing the story up to date, the authors provide an excellent guide to those sites offering much that is new to the observant visitor today. They discuss Peterborough's fine garden, the camery (secret) garden at Wells, the rose and scented gardens for the blind at Bury St Edmunds, the circular walled garden at Michelham Priory and, among many others Westminster Abbey.
There are also lists of the types of plants grown and used (in monastic days), a gazetteer of sites to visit and what to look for, and a glossary of monastic terms.
This thematic and inspirational study of bygone days is specifically aimed at the practical benefit of today's reader.