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The British Isles consists of more than 6,000 islands scattered around the main islands of Britain and Ireland. More than 100 of these British off-shore islands are inhabited – and where there are people, there are gardens. Lighthouse gardens, gulf-stream-soaked, tropical gardens, windswept remote gardens with giant and ancient yew trees, and gardens surrounding castles and monasteries of historical significance. Britain has more island gardens than anywhere else in the world, particularly on the inhabited islands of the Scottish Hebrides, the Isle of Wight, Anglesey and the Scilly Isles. In this book we will encounter a huge variety of habitats and gardening conditions, from coastal machair to woodlands, mountains, dunes and meadows. Island gardens exhibit a wide range of aspects, from shady dells, to sunny banks, deep-soiled productive gardens to rocky, alpine slopes. What they all share is the special light, magical atmosphere and indefinable magic that a proximity to water can bring. In Island Gardens, Jackie Bennett reveals the challenges their gardeners face, the designs required in such extremes, and the skills their gardeners have mastered to survive and thrive. All photographed on the ground and in the air by garden and drone photographer Richard Hanson.
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