Part of Prestel's "Icons" series, this book takes a look at the masterpieces of garden design and how they have influenced our understanding of this ancient and complex art. Through 80 iconic gardens, illustrated with over 300 colour images, this book traces the development of garden design worldwide from mediaeval gardens to contemporary creations. As well as the classic gardens of Blenheim, Monticello, Versailles, Stowe and Vaux-le-Vicomte, the book includes gardens of the East - Daisen-in and Katsura Rikyu in Japan, the Summer Palace Royal Gardens in Beijing - along with Indian, Sri Lankan, Finnish, Russian, Swedish, Polish and Brazilian gardens among many others. Written by an international team of garden historians, the texts on each garden discuss its development and influences, and include a timeline, glossary and bibliographical references for further reading. An in-depth introduction by Caroline Holmes explores the pre-history of gardening and sets each icon in its broader context. The result is a fascinating and informative contribution to the history of garden design.