This book grew out of Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall's love and understanding of period gardens and her work as a specialist in their restoration and adaptation. Her analysis of the very English art of garden making tells an intriguing story, revealed through poetry, fiction, diaries and memoirs, and in the writings of satirists as well as philosophers. It is illustrated with illuminated manuscripts, embroideries, paintings, drawings and photographs. Jane traces the events which shaped the style of gardens, showing how each period was influenced by a love or hate relationship with nature, alternatively taming or manipulating it, romanticising and celebrating it. The book also shows how the gardens of each period in history reflect the political, social and cultural life of the times. The contributions of men and women of genius and lesser known individuals are analysed and celebrated. The author's final conclusion is that an overwhelming love of flowering plants and pleasure in growing them has always been the inspiration for English gardeners. 'The Garden' is an ideal gift for anyone with a keen interest in either gardening or history.