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GILLES CLEMENT is Professor Emeritus at the Versailles National School of Landscape Architecture and holder of the Chair of Artistic Creation at the College de France in Paris. Internationally renowned, he is the creator of numerous public gardens such as the Andre Citroen Park and the garden of the Quai Branly Museum in Paris and the Henri Matisse Park in Lille.
March 2018 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | Graphic novel, information book, horticultural history, A Big Garden is beautiful to look at, totally original and rather remarkable. Beginning in May, it takes readers through the year in a garden, above and below ground, describing the extraordinary amount of activity that goes on, the actions not just of the gardeners but of the plants and insects too. Detailed passages of text are full of information, e.g. listing all a gardener must do to protect his crops in June, describing the amazing methods that plants have evolved to protect themselves against threats. At times it’s philosophical – ‘put simply, gardening is all about interpreting the future and overcoming the unforeseeable’ – at other times poetic – a gardener ‘always has his hands in the soil, and looks up to the sky’. The illustrations are equally inspiring and attention-grabbing, vividly naturalistic paintings of fruit and plants set against fantastic scenes in which miniature gardeners toil away. Beautiful and inspiring, it’s a book to treasure. ~ Andrea Reece
This wonderfully insightful and brilliantly illustrated book on gardens and gardeners will provide hours of absorbing fun while introducing young readers to the joys of planning, planting, and harvesting. In vibrant watercolors Vincent Grave shows us how there's something happening every month in the Big Garden. Renowned landscape designer Gilles Clement's lyrical text gently teaches young readers not only what's involved in planning a garden, but how plants, insects, and humans interact all year long to make the garden thrive. Along the way, we witness a forest of mushrooms, the miracle of eggs, and the incredible universe found in a single flower. In every picture, tiny gardeners busy themselves among the leaves, seeds, and earth. Fascinating, heartfelt, and elegantly produced, this book celebrates the deep connection between humans and nature.