From the Publisher. Presents for the first time 250 colored photographs of urban and suburban gardens taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston—photographer of presidents, celebrity authors, tastemakers, and estates of the County House Era.
From Newport to the Hamptons, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, from New York to Richmond, in France, Italy and England, visit the city and country gardens of the wealthy and fashionable—Cornelius and Alice Vanderbilt II, J.P. and Frances Morgan, Henry and Arabella Huntington, George and Helen Crocker, author Edith Wharton, Parliament member Lady Nancy Astor, and Chicago-born Baroness von Ketteler—who lived with style and chic from coast to coast and abroad. Working with legions of skilled gardeners, America’s leading architects and landscape designers transformed thousands of farmland acres into estates as beautiful and lavish as those at princely villas and châteaux. Here are the parterres of The Breakers, a children’s boxwood playground at Mille Fiori, a violet and azur canal at Thornedale, a classical temple at Weld, a lyrical fountain at Burrwood, Persian terraces at El Feuridis and butterfly lakes at Middleton Place, all in gardens that glowed with emerald lawn carpets, cascades of French roses and exotics from China and South America.
In illuminating detail, author Sam Watters tells the stories behind these floral retreats, flawlessly preserved in photographs by celebrity photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston. Eminent landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. considered her alluring images “the finest” of American gardens.