Gardens & Landscapes

The Elegant Garden: Architecture and Landscape of the World's Finest Gardens

The first major illustrated monograph in many years on the history of gardens, landscape design, and architecture, focusing on both the Western and Eastern traditions and their influences. Ambitious in scope and lavishly illustrated, this book surveys every period in garden design and landscape architecture, from classical antiquity and the medieval cloisters to the latest trends in modern design. Captured here are two millennia of garden history—the most comprehensive garden photo documentary ever undertaken by a single author. From the Roman gardens at Hadrian’s villa to the modern work of landscape architects, historical and contemporary gardens are showcased with special attention to the relationship between gardens and houses. The informative text reveals the evolutions, transformations, influences, and trends that characterize these beautiful landscapes, putting into context their aesthetic appeal. Gardens are unique, reflecting the landscape, flora, and climate of their environments as well as the heritage, history, architectural styles, and influences of society. From the fountain gardens of Persia to the prairie-style gardens currently popular, from the Zen gardens of Buddhist temples to the Impressionist gardens in Giverny, the huge variety of gardens is a testament to our age-old desire to tame and refashion nature. This gorgeously photographed book will captivate travelers and garden admirers alike and inspire gardeners with ideas for design, horticulture, and use.

About The Author

Johann Kräftner studied architecture, specializing in the history of art and conservation. Since 2004, he has served as director of the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna and curator of the Princely Collections at Vaduz, Liechtenstein.

  • Publish Date: September 15, 2015
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Gardening - Garden Design
  • Publisher: Rizzoli Universe Promotional Books
  • Trim Size: 11-3/4 x 9-1/2
  • Pages: 432
  • US Price: $19.98
  • CDN Price: $19.98
  • ISBN: 978-0-7893-3102-1


"..a brilliantly written and appealing photographed travel tour of architecture and landscape of the world’s finest gardens. In essence, the book is a survey of every major period of garden design. Separate chapters on gardens of the Italians, French, Chinese, English and various approaches to “gardening architecture” makes this book a landmark of the genre."

"The hundreds of gardens in this book promise to instill confidence for do-it-yourselfers and help develop a better grasp of how to envision space. The photography, international appeal and inspiration alone are worth it."
-Environmental Design

"If you have ever loved a garden, if you have ever created one, if you have ever found solace and strength in the beauty of a garden's ability to transform and add beauty, this book will be important and well-loved."