Derek Jarman created his own garden in the flat, bleak expanse of shingle that faces the nuclear power station in Dungeness, Kent. A passionate gardener from childhood, he combined his painter's eye, his horticultural expertise and his ecological convictions to produce a landscape which mixed the flint, shells and driftwood of Dungeness; sculptures made from stones; the area's indigenous plants; and shrubs and flowers introduced by Jarman himself. This book, the last he ever wrote, is his own record of how this garden evolved, from its beginnings in 1985 to the day of his death in 1994.
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(230mm x 165mm x 19mm)
Thames & Hudson Ltd
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Jarman's last book, completed in his dying year, is an assembly of thoughts and memories, mostly about his garden, but also about friends and AIDS. While the text is slight, it is set among superb pictures by Howard Sooley, a friend and fellow plantlover, who photographed the garden over a number of years. When Jarman bought the old fisherman's cottage, on a shale promentary within Howitzer distance of Dungeness B nuclear power station, he was attracted by it's bleakness. But gradually objects found on the beach became sculptures and beds of sea-washed brick and flint, and the flowers crept in. Ultimately the garden was awash with colour. This is an inspirational book, not only through the pictures of the extraordinary garden itself, but also those of Jarman. The fact that he faded as the garden took root is grimly poetic. To have created such a garden at all is an achievement, but to see Jarman gardening wearing a djellabe to protect himself from the light and the cold, with a hospital band on his wrist, is a tribute to human spirit and determination. (Warning: if you're planning to buy it for an elderly friend for the gardening, you should know that Jarman also tells us of his memories of fucking (his word) people on the floor of Heaven.) (Kirkus UK)
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