Improbable Gardens

Herbert Dreiseitl

As spring thoughts turn to the world outdoors, a new book invites us to greet it with a fresh eye. Avant Gardeners looks at the point where conceptual art meets landscape gardening and highlights the work of 50 designers who, for the past decade or so, have reacted to the glassy, razor-edge precision of modernist architecture with creations that go way beyond raised flower beds and mounds of perfect lawn. "These gardens are about ideas first and foremost," says author Tim Richardson. "They're not mainly about plants and they're not really about function." Instead, they use surreal scaling, vivid colors and...

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