Human beings have been transforming Mediterranean landscapes into art for at least thirty thousand years.
Today's artists, sculptors, designers, architects and gardeners explore age-old vernacular materials, skills and sites to produce extraordinary landscape art that affirms an ideal of partnership with nature while celebrating layers of living in this multifaceted region.
Each work observes the logic of place as determined by climate, geology, flora and fauna, architecture and land use.
Illustrated with hundreds of exceptional photographs by award- winning photographer Clive Nichols, and drawing on nearly forty years of exploration by Louisa Jones, this book offers a fresh vision of the Mediterranean, past and future, linking cultural diversity and natural balance as discovered in its gardens, landscape design, literature, art and architecture.
About the Author
Canadian born Louisa Jones has been gardening in southern France since 1975 when she and her husband bought the old farmhouse they still inhabit. She has written some thirty books about contemporary French gardens, recently specializing in Mediterranean regions. For her first illustrated book, Gardens in Provence (1992) Louisa visited more than two hundred gardens of all styles and sizes. She found that, in the Mediterranean, there is no separation between ornamental and useful or productive gardening.
Traditional Mediterranean gardening is "multiple": many pleasures, many uses for all seasons. Like Mediterranean cuisine, it is locally based and economical, but capable of great refinement; pleasure-giving, healthy and accessible to all. It has proven its capacity to maintain a durable partnership with the land. Most recently, Louisa Jones has been exploring vernacular Mediterranean landscapes, worked and fashioned by humankind for millenia, that are today biodiversity hotspots and an inspiration to gifted artists. Louisa has also published two books with leading French ecologist, Gilles Clément.
She writes in both English and French, and gardens every day. She also organizes visits to private designer gardens around Avignon in April and October.
'Louisa Jones has lived in southern France for nearly 40 years and her knowledge of and passion for the region is distilled in this scholarly work ... Immensely inspirational and informative' - Garden Design Journal
'Ambitious and scholarly ... Clive Nichols's photographs speak with eloquence' - Gardens Illustrated