Books


Read the book reviews below
A Legacy in Bloom: Celebrating a Century of Gardens at the Cummer

A Place of Beauty: The Artists and Gardens of the Cornish Colony
Beatrix Farrand: Private Gardens, Public Landscapes
Gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement: Reality and Imagination
Gertrude Jekyll: A Vision of Garden and Wood
Gertrude Jekyll and the Country House Garden: From the Archives of Country Life

Gertrude Jekyll at Munstead Wood (revised edition)
Gertrude Jekyll at Munstead Wood: Writing, Horticulture, Photography, Homebuilding

The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman



Book Cover

Coming in 2018

Ellen Shipman and the American Garden (University of Georgia Press/LALH).
This is a long-awaited revised edition of The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman, published in 1996 and now out of print. 

Read the press release.

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Co-author with Martin Wood, Gertrude Jekyll at Munstead Wood (Pimpernel Press, 2015).

         Gertrude Jekyll was probably the most influential garden designer of the early twentieth century. Taking as a basis Jekyll’s own photographs, scrapbooks and notebooks, the authors describe not only the building and development of the house and garden at Munstead Wood, but also Jekyll’s skills in the arts and as a businesswoman, and her collaboration with architects, most notably Edwin Lutyens. This Pimpernel Garden Classic is a revised edition of a book first published in 1996 and includes an updated text and many new photographs.

What the critics say:

A poetic portrayal that strips back the formidability of Gertrude Jekyll, exposing her warm, yet vulnerable personality. Gardens Illustrated
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The authors of this book have dexterously explored (Jekyll’s) many interests and varied talents to give an intriguing insight into the world of this indomitable gardener, artist and craftswoman.
House & Garden (UK)

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This delicious volume little volume by two leading Gertrude Jekyll experts explains the processes and the very human side of a garden designer whose legacy endures.
Country Life

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An absorbing and readable book, a genuine classic.
The Lady

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This is a book that enriches our understanding of an extraordinary gardening writer, placing her achievements in the context of a fast-changing world.
Lutyens Trust Newsletter

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An in-depth reading will bring color to the gray days ahead this winter.
Sunday Sentinel

An excellent book, interesting, informative and enjoyable to read.
Irish Garden Plant Society
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A compelling and intimate portrait. . . there is much to savor in this eminently readable account of the talented and paradoxical Jekyll
MHS Leaflet

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Book cover: Gertrude Jekyll and the Country House Garden: From the Archives of Country Life

Gertrude Jekyll and the Country House Garden: From the Archives of Country Life (Aurum Press/Rizzoli, 2011) 

            Gertrude Jekyll was one of the most important garden designers of the twentieth century. A prolific writer and a hugely influential plantswoman, her circle of friends included some of the most distinguished architects, horticulturists, artists, and writers of the time. This new volume in the Country Life Archives series celebrates Jekyll's gardens and her legendary theories on color, planting, and design with a selection of her most famous collaborations with Sir Edwin Lutyens and other important architects. The text is illustrated with over 150 superb photographs that capture the enduring magic of Jekyll's creative genius.

Read the press release

What the critics say:

A splendid book [and] the last word on Gertrude Jekyll's gardens for years to come. Country Life
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A wonderfully inclusive portrait--in a book for scholars and students alike, Miss J could have hoped for no better advocate. Gardens Illustrated
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Well written, thoroughly researched, beautifully produced and illustrated. The English Garden
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One to get your hands on . . . packed with rarely seen images of her work. The Guardian

An unrivalled celebration of her work. Hatchards

offers a rare survey of Jekyll and Lutyens's collaboration from the gardener's point of view.
The New York Times Book Review
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a marvellous book. . . engagingly written and beautifully illustrated. House & Garden

a wondrous work . . . a treasure trove of text and images. Frommer Luxury Travel

This book, like Jekyll, elevates gardening to a fine art. Design New England

An in-depth look at Jekyll's accomplishments . . . Tankard's graceful prose brings [Jekyll] to life.
Flower Magazine
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An easy book to read, full of interesting anecdotes, quotes and other details. The Professional Gardener
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There have been several books on Jekyll over the years but this is certainly the most attractive yet.
The Telegraph (UK)

a beautiful book [it] belong in every public library and private space where people go to seek beauty Leaflet
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Judith Tankard's words and the enduring power of Jekyll's designs make this a must for those with a passion for garden history National Trust Magazine

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Cover for Beatrix Farrand: Private Gardens, Public Landscapes

Beatrix Farrand: Private Gardens, Public Landscapes (The Monacelli Press/Random House, 2009)

            Long recognized as one of America's most celebrated landscape architects, Beatrix Farrand was renowned for her private estate gardens as well as her work as a landscape consultant for prestigious private universities and colleges. This book is a fresh presentation of her remarkable career and includes a number of landscapes that have recently been restored. A visually appealing book, it has over 200 illustrations by well-known photographers. This book has been named a 2010 Honor Book by Historic New England.

Read the press release

Read about Beatrix Farrand | Watch a video on Beatrix Farrand

What the critics say:

[Tankard's] research is exhaustive and her writing is clear and illuminating. . . . She has thoroughly traced Farrand's career. SiteLines
Read full review (pages 19-22)

This book brings to life the gardens of a nascent and grand American landscape style . . . Farrand’s meticulous plans [provide] a trove of inspiration. For English majors, this book does double duty as a companion to [Edith Wharton’s] novels. The New York Times Book Review           
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[An] authoritative biography . . . the writing is well researched [and] refreshingly spare.
Landscape Architecture
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[This book] is thoughtfully presented by a scholar who is both rigorous and intuitive . . . and it’s beautiful. Old-House Interiors
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This book is absolutely stunning . . . and I am proud to see her incredible work in Maine documented. Susan M. Collins, US Senator, Maine

[Farrand] gets her due in this lovely coffee-table book filled with her meticulous plans, archival photographs and lovely illustrations. Chicago Tribune

With engaging prose and luscious images, Tankard places Farrand in the context of her clients and contemporaries. Hortus

A well-researched, well-photographed and beautifully produced volume The New York Botanical Garden
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This well written and deeply researched book . . .  will surely remain the standard work on Beatrix Farrand for years to come. Gardens Illustrated
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You certainly won’t be disappointed with the new book by Judith Tankard. It’s a welcome addition to the genre, written in an easy to read style, and it covers all the important facts and facets in the life of a most fascinating woman. Garden Design Online

The practice of landscape gardening was new territory for women at the beginning of the 20th century. Country Life

Judith Tankard brings a deep knowledge of time, place, and personality to this new book. Magnolia

Judith Tankard’s [book] is the best and the first to do complete justice to [Farrand’s] professional achievements. . . .[she] has done a superb research job [and] gives excellent critical assessments of Farrand’s design achievements as well as an outline of her life and career. Eden

This is truly a remarkable book which defines Beatrix Farrand as a superb designer, a woman of exceptional character, and a person of a very private nature. Tankard manages to present [Farrand] as a vibrant human being, which is the best that can be said about any biographical undertaking. Diane Kostial McGuire, author

What a magnificent tribute to [Farrand’s] life and work. Earle Shettleworth, Maine Historical Preservation Commission

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Cover for A Legacy in Bloom: Celebrating a Century of Gardens at the Cummer

A Legacy in Bloom: Celebrating a Century of Gardens at the Cummer, photographs by Mick Hales (Cummer Museum, 2008)

            It tells the stories of the Cummer family and the gardens they cultivated in Jacksonville, Florida. The gardens represent a plumb line through the history of American landscape design, with direct ties to four leading designers and firms: Michigan-based Ossian Simonds, Philadelphia’s Thomas Meehan & Sons, Ellen Biddle Shipman of New York, and the renowned Olmsted firm of Massachusetts. This book was named Outstanding Book of 2008 by the Southeast Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America. It also received an award from the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission.

Read the press release
To order, telephone 904-356-6857 or email studor@cummer.org. 

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Cover for Gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement: Reality and Imagination

Gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement: Reality and Imagination (Abrams, 2004)

            Gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement documents the history of the movement’s diverse attitudes toward landscape architecture for the first time. The author brings a fresh perspective and a wealth of original research to her subject, one of the most creative periods in the history of modern design. Richly illustrated with period watercolors and drawings, as well as new photographs and garden plans made especially for this publication, this book promises to be an important resource for art and design historians, and a delight to all lovers of gardens.

What the critics say:
Tankard . .  . writes so well, and the illustrations are so well chosen, than one is soon swept up and away into an idealized world of the early Arts and Crafts designers . . . [it] is the best-illustrated study so far. Apollo

Between generous quantities of photographs and period drawings illustrating scores of examples, the author weaves in the experience of the Arts-and-Crafts aesthetic with examples of wallpaper designs, textiles, and evocative watercolours that faithfully convey the period’s horticultural obsessions.
Country Life

The book will engage all those interested in the making of beautiful gardens, but especially those with a particular enthusiasm for . . . the Arts and Crafts Movement. The Garden

Judith B. Tankard . . . has written the most comprehensive study to date of Arts and Crafts gardens.
Style 1900

It is such a valuable addition to garden design literature. Her selection of period watercolors and drawings, plans and new photography lays a solid foundation for an enlightening look at the . . . house and garden championed by Arts and Crafts notables such as Sir Edwin Lutyens. Veranda

Gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement gives a vivid account of the range of Arts and Crafts gardens, [but] what the book does best is [to] present the gardens in the context of art, architecture and furniture. Garden Design

This important book is impressive and fascinating. House & Garden

This is a superb read and an extremely well-designed and illustrated book. The Telegraph

Tankard’s text is a model of scholarship, insight, and efficiency. The insightful text, well-chosen images, and . . . the book’s overall design will engage and inspire. Landscape Architecture

This book will be attractive to all garden lovers. Its scholarly depth, extensive notes and bibliography ensure it will be an essential text for all who study this period of design. Garden History

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Cover for A Place of Beauty: The Artists and Gardens of the Cornish Colony

Co-author with Alma Gilbert, A Place of Beauty: The Artists and Gardens of the Cornish Colony (Ten Speed Press, 2000)

            At the beginning of the twentieth century, the artists’ colony in Cornish, New Hampshire, was considered one of the most beautifully landscaped villages in America. The lush, rolling hills and fairy-tale scenery drew some of the nation’s most gifted artists, including sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, illustrator Maxfield Parrish, and architect Charles Platt. These artists, inspired by the colony’s pastoral beauty, quickly became renowned as much for the idyllic gardens created as for their works of art. A Place of Beauty was a winner of a Quill and Trowel Award from the Garden Writers of America.

What the critics say:
For a view into the history of early 20th-century American gardens, this lively and detailed description of an influential segment makes enjoyable and informative reading. Gardens Illustrated

Judith Tankard examines in detail a dozen Cornish gardens, some modest, some grand, but each perfectly suited to the larger landscape. Her pithy discussions are bolstered by a wealth of illustrative material, historical photographs, and many reproductions of paintings, etchings, and planting plans. Hortus

This book . . . chronicles the gardens, gardeners, and art of this golden place and period.
American Gardener

This is a book filled with ideas from another century that are still workable today, because of the talent of the garden makers. Charleston [West Virginia] Gazette

The numerous photos and reproduction of paintings that fill the book show a world filled with an astonishing beauty rarely seen in our modern world. Amazon.com

 

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Cover for Gertrude Jekyll at Munstead Wood: Writing, Horticulture

Co-author with Martin Wood, Gertrude Jekyll at Munstead Wood: Writing, Horticulture, Photography, Homebuilding. Foreword by Graham Stuart Thomas (Sutton/Sagapress, 1996)

          This book presents insight into the life of the great English gardener Gertrude Jekyll and her home at Munstead Wood. As well as describing the building and development of the house and garden, the authors look at the arts she practiced while at the house. Her daily routine, the running of the household, and her relationships with household and garden staff is gained through the eyes of those who worked under her direction. Jekyll’s important work as a nurserywoman and market gardener, her aptitude for business, and the promotion of gardening through her writing is also described.          

What the critics say:
It is a pleasure to take in one’s hands Gertrude Jekyll at Munstead Wood, a book that is beautifully produced, appealingly laid out, copiously illustrated, and elegantly written.
Journal of the New England Garden History Society

A detailed look at the previously unexplored artistic life and business acumen of one of the most influential garden designers of this century. A must for understanding the woman, her work, and her time. American Gardener

The authors’ enthusiasm for their subject is evident, and the book is invaluable not only as a study of a remarkable individual, but also as a description of a contemporary way of life. Country Life

The authors have drawn together a range of sources to describe the many interests and activities which filled Miss Jekyll’s life at Munstead Wood. . . the text is Jekyllian in tone, often paraphrasing her writings to give a well-rounded picture. The Garden

Well illustrated, highly detailed, and meticulously researched, this book is likely to prove indispensible to Jekyll fans. The Countryman

This book is a very readable, interesting account of a fascinating woman who undoubtedly altered the way the Western world gardens. Traditional Gardening

Gertrude Jekyll at Munstead Wood is a book for any admirer of this legendary figure [and] provides intriguing insight into her life. Gardens Illustrated

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Cover for The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman

The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman. Introduction by Leslie Rose Close. (Sagapress/Abrams/Library of American Landscape History, 1996)

             The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman tells the story of a remarkable woman who contributed much to the development of landscape design in America. Hailed as the “dean of American women landscape architects,” Ellen Shipman designed over 600 gardens between 1914 and 1946. Her clients included the Fords, Astors, du Ponts, and other captains of industry and patrons of the arts. The book describes Shipman’s remarkable life, her years in the artists’ colony in Cornish, New Hampshire, and her long association with architect Charles Platt. The book explains Shipman’s artistic approach to the design and planting of a garden, which was completely American in spirit and impact. The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman was a recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s 1998 book award.

What the critics say:
This book . . . describes how a woman rose to the top in the male-dominated profession of landscape architecture. American Gardener

The text is fascinating, historic, and poignant. New York Times

Tankard provides thorough and illuminating descriptions of Shipman’s gardens . . . it is a handsome book, valuable not only to historians and garden designers, but also to every garden maker.
Pacific Horticulture

Tankard’s text is concise and engaging. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

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Cover for Gertrude Jekyll: A Vision of Garden and Wood

Co-author with Michael Van Valkenburgh, Gertrude Jekyll: A Vision of Garden and Wood. Foreword by Jane Brown (Abrams/Sagapress, 1988)

             A series of extraordinary photographs taken by the great English landscape designer Gertrude Jekyll presents a unique look at her own garden at Munstead Wood. In these beautiful pictures, reproduced for the first time in newly made prints from her private albums, Jekyll’s masterpiece is revealed as she saw it. The text provides an enlightening discussion of her design ideas, which have never been fully explored before. The book is published in conjunction with a major exhibition of Gertrude Jekyll’s photographs that traveled to galleries and museums in the United States and Britain. The book was selected by Publisher’s Weekly as an Editor’s Choice for 1989.

What the critics say:
An intimate portrait of [Jekyll] in her surroundings [shown in] a collection of eighty-four of her own photographs. Times Literary Supplement

This book is a gem of production. World of Interiors

The photographs are beautifully produced and the book handsome and well-researched.
Garden History Society

[An] elegant and appealing volume. The New Yorker

With its glistening gray dust jacket punctuated by stunning black-and-white photographs, this volume is a winner on looks alone. Colonial Homes

[The book] is a treat . . . a lovely compilation from the 2,100 photographs of [Jekyll’s] own garden.
New York Times

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Other Publications

"Designing Paradise: Women Landscape Architects and the American Country House Garden," in The Artist's Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, ed. Anna O'Marley (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014)

             This lavishly illustrated volume, based on an exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, tells the stories of American art and garden-making during the 1890s and early 1900s.

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Hortus cover

“William Robinson and the Art of the Book,” in Hortus Revisited: A Twenty-first Birthday Anthology, ed. David Wheeler (Frances Lincoln, 2008)

             An anthology of original articles from Hortus,the renowned quarterly publication founded by David Wheeler in 1987 and illustrated by Simon Dorrell and other artists.  “For the past two decades Hortus has been a voice of wide-ranging intelligent cultural debate on all matters to do with gardens and gardening.” Monty Don

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Cover for Re-Creating the American Past: Essays on the Colonial Revival

“Ellen Biddle Shipman’s Colonial Revival Garden Style,” in Re-Creating the American Past: Essays on the Colonial Revival, ed. Richard Guy Wilson, Shaun Eyring, Kenny Marotta (University of Virginia Press, 2006)

             This comprehensive and handsome volume recovers the origins, characteristics, diversity, and significance of the Colonial Revival, situating it within the broader history of American design, culture, and society.

 

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Cover for My Mother’s Garden: A Collection about Love, Flowers, and Family

“Gardening with Louise,” in My Mother’s Garden: A Collection about Love, Flowers, and Family. Introduction by Penelope Hobhouse (Chamberlain/Penguin, 2005)

             “My mother was a pistol. Everyone who knew Louise considered her a character. She always spoke her mind, especially in later years when her tongue rolled forth with a flow of admonishments about people not doing things ‘right.’” Other contributors include Barbara Kingsolver, Dominique Browning, Diane Ackermann, and Jamaica Kincaid.

 

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Cover for English Pleasure Gardens

“Introduction,” English Pleasure Gardens by Rose Standish Nichols (David R. Godine, 2003)

             When English Pleasure Gardens was first published a century ago, it was instantly acclaimed as a resource for gardeners, tourists, and history lovers alike. This new edition will introduce a new generation to the pageantry of Britain’s garden heritage and to the redoubtable Rose Standish Nichols, who hailed from Boston’s Beacon Hill, was among our earliest professional garden designers, and was nationally recognized for her expertise with native plants and residential garden design. Nichols brings to her subject a deep knowledge of garden history and an incisive critical eye that still resonates today. Visit the Nichols House Museum on Mount Vernon Street in Boston.

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Cover for Encyclopedia of Gardens: History and Design

Contributor, Encyclopedia of Gardens: History and Design, ed. Candice Shoemaker (Routledge/Chicago Botanic Garden, 2001)

             This three-volume resource provides information on garden history and design in the United States and around the world, ranging from Joseph Addison to Zen gardens. It is illustrated with hundreds of photographs, plans, and drawings.

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Cover for Pioneers of American Landscape Design

Contributor, Pioneers of American Landscape Design, ed. Charles Birnbaum and Robin Karson (McGraw-Hill, 2000)

             In this book, the reader is introduced to the geniuses and more ordinary people who helped shape American landscapes and public spaces, thereby establishing the United States as a leader in landscape design, planning, and conservation. Many renowned landscape historians and educators helped compile biographies of 160 key people. A second volume is planned for publication in 2010.


If you would like an autographed copy of any of these books, contact me at