“Adventures in Eden”, by Carolyn Mullet, with it’s gorgeous cover was to be an indulgence for me. The back cover copy implied it would be a walkthrough, from my couch, of some of the most interesting gardens in Europe, up close – intimate. And perhaps, it was in the raising of those hopes, that I was set up for disappointment.
It is, without a doubt, a beautiful coffee table book of 50 lovely gardens. However, I found I couldn’t get to know anyone garden properly. It shows two or three highlights of a garden with a short blurb and then moves on. Some of which are modern, others whimsical, few are so unusual that I hadn’t seen similar in other publications. I felt more like a guide to “what to see” whilst in the area than an intimate get together with each. Equally confusing, the back copy indicates the gardens are off-limits to visitors and the book introduction says they are opened at some point in each year for…visitors?! I haven’t researched it to find out which is correct!
If you’d like to dapple in the gardens of Europe, and hop from spot to spot, this may be the book for you. I enjoy a deeper journey, with a longer and more educational story on each garden and lots more photos. As such, it’s a three out of five on the enJOYment scale.
From the back cover:
Acres of white-blooming garden rooms on the island of Mallorca. A seven-tiered wonder of stone, plants, and water above Germany’s Rhine River. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation in a quiet Scottish valley. These sumptuous landscapes are just three of the fifty destinations you’ll visit on this exclusive tour of Europe’s most beautiful private gardens. From Belgium to Ireland, Scandinavia to Wales, Carolyn Mullet is your guide through intimate retreats normally off-limits to visitors. Short profiles introduce the intriguing owners and rich histories of each garden and the land they inhabit. Among the featured gardens are works of eminent designers such as Tom Stuart-Smith, Andy Malengier, and Louis Benech.
Whether you love exploring faraway places or creating your own landscape haven at home, Adventures in Eden is the ideal armchair getaway—glimpses into personal garden artistry that are sure to spark inspiration.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from Timber Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.