Friday, 2 July 2010

giving away a favourite book

One of my most treasured and well-thumbed books is Derek Jarman's Garden. Do you know it? It's a delight, recording how the late film-maker and artist Derek Jarman created his garden at Prospect Cottage on the shingle at Dungeness, Kent, in the shadow of the nuclear power station. Dungeness can be a bleak and inhospitable place, and provides a challenge for any gardener.


Jarman tells the tale of how the garden evolved over the years, beginning in 1986, and ending in the last year of his life (1994). He incorporated many indigenous plants, and others he introduced himself, along with driftwood sculptures, rusty old tools and discarded objects. He also used many hagstones (thank you Emma for introducing me to that word!) in his sculptures. I've always found Dungeness to be the best place for finding hagstones. With a little patience and searching I can usually find a handful or two.


The stunning photography is by Howard Sooley. A mix of vibrant colour shots and black and white give the book a quiet sense of place and manage to portray the desolate beauty of the shingle garden perfectly. The narrative mixes poetry and prose, drawing you into the tale so that the pages turn effortlessly from one to the other.


Today I was lucky enough to find a near-perfect copy in my local Oxfam going for a song. I couldn't resist it, and thought one of you might like it?

Leave a comment, and I'll draw a name in ten days or so..... I'm going to restrict this to uk post only, it's not the lightest of books!

23 comments:

silverpebble said...

Beautiful pictures of a garden with hagstone sculptures and dry-loving plants? Goodness me, I'd give my eye teeth for a chance to own it Diana. Yes please!

rachel said...

I'd love it too! What a nice thought....

Dragonfly said...

I love that garden and I'd love that book! Truly inspirational.

Ali said...

It's a wonderful book, isn't it? But I am lucky enough to own a copy already.

We went to visit the garden in person on honeymoon. Dungeness is like no other place.

Tilly said...

I haven't visited the garden but I did see a programme on tv about it quite a long time ago. If the book is half as good it'll be fantastic!

harmony and rosie said...

Oh that looks a wonderful book so I'd love the chance to go into your hat please?

Kate x

Maureen said...

I never win anything, but thought it worth a try. The book looks great. I have never been to the garden, I'm curious now and will have to google it.
Have a great week-end. M

A Bun Can Dance said...

I've heard a lot about this book and it certainly sounds like it is full of inspiration :-)
Please put my name in the hat!
We've done so much to develop our garden this year, but I still dream of more space, and I'll probably always want to create more garden loveliness even if I had an acre to play with!
Wishing you a very happy weekend,
Denise x

clarabelle said...

That looks like a lovely book... I love stones with holes in - had no idea they had a name!
PS My word verification today is FLUMP - I used to LOVE the flumps (my mum used to call me pootle all the time lol)

lovethosecupcakes. said...

Lovely book and how lucky to spot it in a charity shop. Some of those images remind me of your photographs.

Dan said...

I remember you posting about this book previously - how lucky to find a copy in a charity shop! Thanks for thinking of us!
The illustrations look wonderful, and I love the use of natural scuplture too.
Dan
-x-

caireen said...

I love that landscape... I was born on the Isle of Sheppey and like that flat, sea marshy landscape...just saying hello, but there are others who would love the book more than I need it - what a lovely giveaway..x

driftwood said...

looks like an amazing inspiring read xoxo

Clare said...

The photographs look so inspiring - and I would love the book! Nice of you to want to share.

jill said...

Love reading your blog. Walter is such a gorgeous dog. Terrific book and I'd love to win it!

jotatters said...

What a lovely book. Thank you for the chance to own a copy - very generous. Would be a boon in helping me develop my own little seaside garden. Please put my name in the hat!

JuliaB said...

Ooooh! I so thoroughly enjoyed reading that post and what a nice surprise tat the end to see that you have a spare!! I am a fan of the film Jubilee, and I knew about Jarman's house in the shadow of the power station, it always fascinated me. My mother would have hated it!! x

kate said...

what a good idea and i agree that this book is very special. I too already have a copy so don't include me ( and I am in Catalunya as we know!) but thank you for reminding me of the images and I'll try to remember to pick up the book to bring back here with me when I am next in Cornwall. love Kate X

dottycookie said...

I'm coming in very late here, but I would LOVE to own this book. For some reason I misremembered that his house was on the Suffolk coast so imagine my disappointment two weekends ago when we stayed there and realised we couldn;t add it to our agenda :-(

Purrfect Haven said...

just shows what one can do eh!? Inspiring. Love Helen x

Anonymous said...

Even on a rainy, blustery day (three weeks ago) when I visited Dungeness from Shropshire, I was totally amazed by this garden. I'd love to know more about it Diana so please include my name in your draw.
Bobby

Louise said...

I have this book, and it really is one of my favourites. I take inspiration especially from the photography. My dream is to one day create a seaside garden, and would love to buy a shack on the Dungeness coastline. A second visit to Prospect Cottage may be on the cards for me very soon? As I already have a copy I don't need to be entered in your giveaway, but good luck to all who have. x

kristina said...

I'm joining in very late this time round! Looks and sounds so amazing. Hope the farm sitting is going well :) K x