Nature Over Again: The Garden Art of Ian Hamilton Finlay by John Dixon Hunt - review by Tim Richardson

Tim Richardson

Gardens on the Attack

Nature Over Again: The Garden Art of Ian Hamilton Finlay


Reaktion Books 197pp £29.95 order from our bookshop

Who will read this excellent book? It falls between two stools, gardening and art, just like its subject, the late Ian Hamilton Finlay. He was the creator, over forty-five years, of Little Sparta, near Edinburgh, generally acknowledged to be the most important garden created in the late twentieth century. John Dixon Hunt describes it as 'the ultimate realisation' of the work of the artist. But it is still not very widely known outside the world of gardens. Why?

The problem facing gardening, in terms of its position in the hierarchy of the arts, is that while a cheery character like Alan Titchmarsh may not seem to have much in common with a serious artist–gardener like Ian Hamilton Finlay, when it comes to the topic of gardening

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