Review of Paul Bennett’s “Garden Lovers Guide to the South”

This guidebook to southern gardens lists one hundred places to go and see the beauty of gardening. Many different types of public and semipublic gardens are listed and there is definitely something for everyone. It is very simple to read and find what one is looking for, laid out in easy to understand formatting. There is heavy paper surrounding the book that makes it very durable and easier to take with a visitor. It has a good weight to it, feeling sturdy and solid in the reader’s hands.

Photography buffs will love that there are ample pictures of the gardens, the neighboring sites, and the flowers featured in the gardens. There is also informative text in the sidebars that tells the reader some of the surrounding sites should he be tempted to browse elsewhere after the garden. There is also all the contact information for the gardens as well so the visitor can call and double check directions or times of opening and closing.

Guidebook Symbols
Each of the gardens listed in Garden Lover’s Guide to the South has symbols that will tell the reader at a glance certain aspects of the garden. There are symbols for Formal Garden, Refreshments are in Vicinity, House Major Feature, Historic Garden, Kitchen Garden, Topiary, Botanic Interest or Rare Plants, Borders, Water Features, Admission Fee Charged, or Architectural/Ornamental Features.

Table of Contents:
•Introduction to Southern Gardens
•Tobacco Country (North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee)
•Deep South (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama)
•The Delta (Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana)

Garden Lovers Guide to the South
Highlights to this book are that there are 100 public and semi public gardens listed in the guidebook. These southern gardens are all easily marked with symbols that will tell the reader key facts and features of the garden. There are maps and directions so getting to and from the gardens is very easy. There are some of the most well known gardens listed, and some that may be hidden gems that the reader never knew about. There are plenty of data listed for the gardens, like the contact information and the admission fees.

Paul Bennett
Paul Bennett is a landscape journalist (and editor of the Landscape Architecture magazine) that has written other gardening books, most notably the Garden Lover’s Guide to the Midwest and the Garden Lover’s Guide to the Northeast. His other works have been featured in Wired, Town and Country, Architectural Record, and National Geographic Adventure.

Book Stats:
•Garden Lover’s Guide to the South
•Paul Bennett
•ISBN 1-56898-164-3
•© 2000, Princeton Architectural Press
•$21.95, 160 pages

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