Cover Image: Chasing Eden

Chasing Eden

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Member Reviews

Chasing Eden by Jack Staub and Renny Reynolds. This book includes a historical account, gardening terms and techniques, and gorgeous pictures. It features a private garden called Hortulus Farm. Its owners (Staub & Reynolds) are renowned experts in the fields of design, gardening, and entertaining. They have developed this masterpiece property of 15 acres for over 40 years. The text includes themed gardens, edible gardens, plants and colors, open spaces, woodlands, water features and hardscapes. There is so much to admire and something to inspire every gardener. The thoughtfulness and attention to detail have earned my highest esteem. Rob Cardillo’s photographs are amazing!

A more detailed blog about this book can be found at

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
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This book is wonderful but not what I expected. This is both a solid gardening book with lessons learned and handy tips but a memorable journey of how the author learned to garden. This book chronicles additions to the garden over many years and visits to see other gardens from many different countries around the world. It lists where many plants come from and how they have become popular in gardening over the years as well as how and where they can b grown. I enjoyed reading it. I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.
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An amazing book that made me dream of a perfect garden. It's a great read and I liked the style of writing and the hints.
Strongly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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Chasing Eden is a beautiful book.. There are many tips and ideas on how to grow a thriving and beautiful garden.
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Chasing Eden is an impressive survey of the gardens of Hortulus Farm. Due out 7th Jan 2020 from Timber Press, it's 272 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats.

This is a beautiful tribute and inspiring survey look at the different gardens, both formal and informal, of the iconic Hortulus farm. For myself, I read gardening tutorials and pictorial guides with at least half an eye toward what I can adapt or use in my own gardens. I look for species and varieties which I can use, arrangements and plantings, especially woodland and shady areas (of which I am overly blessed in my own garden). This lovely book really delivers. The authors explain very well the different aspects and planning which came together in the different garden rooms.

The chapters develop each of the themes, open spaces, hardscaping and land shaping, water features, woodlands, specifics on planting and spacing, themed gardens, and more. In short, the book provides a lot more information and nitty-gritty on varieties and culture information than 'just' inspiring (breathtaking) photography which it also provides in abundance.

The authors have an accessible and friendly style in the prose, but oh, the photographs. This book was just what I needed on the very dreary gray and rainy days of midwinter. I -highly- recommend the book for inspiration and classic varieties of the species and placements. The book also includes an index.

Well written garden philosophy enriched by beautiful photography and layout. Five stars, superlative.
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It is true I enjoy gardens. I enjoy their photos and I enjoy reading about them. But by the time I was on page 32 of Chasing Eden, I was on Google looking to see just how far it would be to take a trip to Hortulus Farm and could I tour the gardens. 

This is not your everyday gardening book. This is a book full of flowers and plants and water. It discusses scenes, architecture, history, ideas and contains beautiful pictures. There is nothing more disappointing than a book about gardens with no pictures. This does not disappoint. 

So what we have here is an author who writes almost like Gladys Taber, if you are old enough to know of her. The writing is not dry, it’s chatty occasionally, giving you a history of what was and what is. How it came about and how it got to be what it is; hardships and beauty. The ideas, the design, and how they worked with what they had. I think you can gain from this in many ways. If you want to read a beautiful well-written book, this is it. If you want ideas and some design advice, it’s all here. Enjoy.
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A gorgeous gorgeous garden a book pictures that delight the eye .A book any Gardner will treasure truly a feast for the eye.a book I will be gifting to a special Gardner I know.#netgalley #timberpress
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What a beautiful book, full of fabulous photos, history, information and story of a garden rejuvenated on a huge scale. With the bones of a garden already in situ, the garden was developed in a series of large garden rooms, and we the reader, are invited to take a verbal walking guided tour of the many rooms totalling 20, of this garden built over 40yrs. as the intro tells us that "the classical garden vernacular was used to make an American farm garden".
There are pages of do and don't for each style, lots of ideas and stories of the journey along the way. Not only does this make a fabulous coffee table book but a good guide to creating a garden.
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A beautiful look at how they made and grew this garden. Tips around the different areas of gardens. Great for those who like learning how a garden came to be and how it thrives today.
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The authors purchased Hortulus farm in 1979 and have spent the last 40 years transforming the 15 acre farmstead into a landscape paradise that is open for public tours.  The farm, originally owned by William Penn, had fallen into disrepair by the time that Jack and Renny purchased it.  In Chasing Eden, the authors use their own experiences with Hortulus farm to teach the reader how to go about transforming their own property.  There is a wealth of good advice... Make a Plan; Don't go hog wild with color; Take your time; Incorporate existing landscape and plants into your design, etc.   The book addresses all of these ideas and much, much more .... terraces, focal points, pathways, water features, woodlands, borders, topiaries, open spaces and meadows, themed gardens, kitchen gardens, herb gardens....  Throughout the book are fantastic photos of the farm and its flora and fauna.

If you enjoy a book that teaches by example or through story telling - or if you just loved great photography -  you are sure to enjoy Chasing Eden.
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I want to live here! The gardens are gorgeous and the photographer I'm sure didn't do the place justice, in comparison to being there in person, however, he/she did a hell of a job! Gorgeous photographs! The history of the farm was interesting; all of this together made this a glorious read.
#chasingeden #Netgalley
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When  a super-speed reader doesn't have a car for a month due to a predatory car insurance industry, you can get a LOT of reading done!!			
I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  			
From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.			

Hortulus Farm, one of the most celebrated private gardens in America, is known as for its opulence and evocative mix of classical design and modern sensibilities. It has been featured in publications like House & Garden, House Beautiful, and Country Living and the New York Times called it “formal, intimate, and grand.” In Chasing Eden, Jack Staub and Renny Reynolds use their Pennsylvania-based garden to teach home gardeners the principles of garden design. And more importantly, how and when to break those rules to create a unique, attention-worthy landscape. 

Readers will learn about vistas and focal points; hardscape; garden furnishing and decoration; and plant palette. They’ll also learn more conceptual approaches, like the use of reveal and surprise, and how to beautifully incorporate a kitchen garden into a designed landscape. Equal parts inspirational and practical, this lavishly illustrated book, featuring photography by Rob Cardillo, will help gardeners create their own personal Edens.

This is a stunning coffee table book for the gardener in your life: the photos are breathtaking and the advice sound and it is a book to drool over if you cannot get to Pennsylvania to visit the gardens.  The advice about creating your own gardens made sense and seemed sound to this decidedly indoor kind of girl.  If you are loving this book and have $6M USD in your bank, the house (693 sq ft!), outbuildings and gardens were listed for sale during the summer of 2019. ( - check out the libray in one of the former dairy barns!)

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The photography is gorgeous. It was easy to imagine myself walking through these gardens, seeing the unique aspects of each dedicated garden. I am drawn to anything garden related. These lovely gardens are on a much greater scale than my own. The transformation of this historic farm into a garden paradise took hard work and determination. The emphasis is on classical gardening drawing inspiration from the classical gardens in Europe. The casual gardener may be intimidated by the scale of this property and gardens but the owners plan to leave this property to the community as a public garden. There is excellent advice given throughout the book that any garden would appreciate. Thank you for allowing me to review an advanced copy.
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