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Tom Stuart-Smith

Drawn from the Land

Tim Richardson, Piet Oudolf, Tom Stuart-Smith


The first major overview of the UK's leading garden designer, Tom Stuart-Smith

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'The garden can be a place where the sense of otherness, of nature and of place is so strong that we have a powerful awareness of being, not masters of all we survey, but players in a greater drama … What I am doing as a designer is setting a process in motion, as it were pushing a boat out into the water' Tom Stuart-Smith

Landscape architect and garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith began his own practice in London in 1998. Known for deftly combining naturalism with modernity, and built forms with romantic planting, Stuart-Smith has designed gardens, parks and landscapes in Europe, India, Morocco, the United States and the Caribbean. With clients such as the Royal Horticultural Society, the Royal Academy of Arts and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, he has established himself as one of the UK’s leading landscape designers, with an international reputation for making gardens that respond to their wider landscape setting.

Featuring twenty-four of Stuart-Smith’s projects from around the world, Tom Stuart-Smith: Drawn from the Land is the first major overview of his career, with a critical introduction and essays by leading garden writer Tim Richardson. Two essays by the designer himself reveal his influences and methods, his thoughts about gardens and gardening, and how he approaches his projects. Drawing is an important part ofStuart-Smith’s work, and each garden is illustrated with an overview drawing as well as spectacular commissioned photography. Descriptive texts place each project in context and explain how the features and planting come together to create rich and multi-layered landscapes. An illustrated chronology of Stuart-Smith’s works to date completes this survey.

Offering unique insights into landscape design and planting, this book will provide inspiration and ideas for garden-lovers and professionals, opening up imaginative possibilities for designing spaces from the smallest to the grandest.

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'Expect a serious case of garden envy when leafing through … The methods and ideas for landscaping and planting throughout the book are sure to inspire your own plot'
Grand Designs

'A generous page size and lavish photography depicting 24 of Stuart-Smith’s gardens at their peak enable the reader to feel they have walked into them … Throughout, the narrative is interspersed with quotes enabling the reader to understand how Stuart-Smith’s mind works … This book works on one level as a page-turning stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens but, on another, makes for quite a challenging read. Even the smallest of plots has a history, a place in the landscape, and is perhaps more deserving of considered design'
World of Interiors

'An awe-inspiring testimony to the possibilities of complex planting, subtle landscaping and inventive thematic design'

'A treat for garden lovers and professionals alike … an expert overview'
House & Garden

'Gardening books tend to stand or fall by their photographs and this one earns its hefty price tag with outstandingly good images; they are so beautiful that I found myself sighing with pleasure as I leafed through them'
Daily Mail

'Thames & Hudson deserve the greatest praise for their inspired choice of author, Tim Richardson, to document Tom Stuart-Smith’s work for when you bring great people together the results can be, as with this book, particularly special'
Paddy Toibin, 'An Irish Gardener' blog

'The triangulation between place, people and ideas that Tom Stuart-Smith aims for in his gardens has been gloriously echoed in Tim Richardson's book … This book and the gardens it describes are grand and opulent but fundamentally tender and thoughtful …[an] illuminating oeuvre'
Gardens Illustrated

'A collaborative and conversational retrospective of the work – and inner workings – of one of the UK’s most influential and imaginative designers … illuminating'
Gardens Illustrated

'The gardening book of the year … The pictures are lovely, obviously, and the detailed analysis absorbing, but the best thing about the book are the essays by Stuart-Smith himself, who allies a lyrical imagination and lovely prose with practical intelligence … Wonderful'
Evening Standard

'Packed with detail … fascinating'
Garden Answers

'An impressive read… you can pore over the photos and glean practical gems from the text. There are wondrous things here - not least Stuart-Smith’s approach to sustainable gardening - that can be emulated in the smallest plot'
The Times, Gardening Books of the Year 2021

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 28.0 x 25.5 cm

Extent: 320 pp

Publication date: 18 May 2021

ISBN: 9780500022313

About the Author

Tom Stuart-Smith is an English landscape architect, gardener and writer. He is a member of the Society of Garden Designers and the Landscape Institute. He has written about landscape design and gardening for the Financial Times, Guardian and Daily Telegraph. Tim Richardson is an internationally respected landscape critic, former editor at Wallpaper*, gardens editor at Country Life and founding editor of New Eden magazine. His previous books include Avant Gardeners and The Arcadian Friends.