Monday, November 12, 2012

Stevens, Ann and Kelly, Giles. Diplomatic Gardens of Washington.

Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.. 2012. c128p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 978-0-7643-3978-3. $34.99.

In this generously-illustrated (168 color images) publication, Stevens, a widely published photographer, and Kelly, a retired US dipl
omat and naval officer, take readers on an exclusive, armchair traveler’s tour of twelve embassy gardens in Washington, DC. In twelve chapters, each of which showcases a different garden, they cover the best- kept embassy gardens of Washington, which are rarely open to the public. Focusing on the Ambassadors’ gardens of Australia, Britain, Denmark, the European Union, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See, Italy, the Republic of Korea, the Royal Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden, Stevens and Kelly provide historical facts about the properties, the Ambassadors’ residences, and chanceries. They detail the unique, cultural and diplomatic histories of the gardens, their designs, features, trees, and plants. Stevens and Kelly illustrate their text by means of color photographs, many of which are full-page and further document the features, trees, and plants of the gardens. Each chapter includes many photographs, with fourteen being the average. Visually engaging, artfully designed, thoughtfully written, and intuitively presented, based upon the organization of each garden within its embassy compound, this book may interest garden lovers, horticulturalists, students, scholars, professionals, and others. Including a one- page foreword by the Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden, Holly H. Shimizu, a table of contents, photographic captions, and bibliography, it constitutes a sufficiently well-documented addition to the literature on gardens and garden history. As a basic resource on some of the diplomatic gardens of Washington, DC, it is highly recommended for many types of libraries, not limited to large public and special libraries. Review copy. Availability:, Barnes &, Schiffer Publishing Ltd.