Little Sparta: The Garden of Ian Hamilton Finlay
Little Sparta: The Garden of Ian Hamilton Finlay Hardcover – September 1, 2003
Jessie Sheeler (Author), Andrew Lawson (Photographer)
- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Frances Lincoln (September 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0711220859
- ISBN-13: 978-0711220850
Sir Roy Strong calls Little Sparta ‘the only really original garden made in this country since 1945’. Ian Hamilton Finlay’s unique creation in the Pentland Hills south of Edinburgh is a garden composed as an artwork in itself. It incorporates concrete poetry, moral polemic, philosophical reflection and a sparkling sense of humour. While Finlay’s works and installations throughout Europe and North America are well documented and justly famous, this is the first book devoted solely to the garden at Little Sparta, which has been at the heart of his life’s work. It offers the reader a sense of the diversity and originality of the garden along with a text that unfolds the layers of meaning it contains.
Jessie Sheeler was brought up in Edinburgh and read Classics at Edinburgh University. In the early 1960s, working with Ian Hamilton Finlay, she co-founded the Wild Hawthorn Press and its poetry magazine Poor. Old. Tired. Horse. After various teaching jobs and a spell as an assistant in day care centres in New York, she settled with her family in Hampshire where she became Head of Classics at the co-educational boarding school Bedales. She now lives in Scotland on the Solway coast, teaching Latin and desperately trying to keep two and a half acres of unruly garden under control. As well as being a distinguished garden photographer – he holds the Royal Horticultural Society’s Gold Medal for photography – Andrew Lawson is a painter, a passionate and knowledgeable gardener, and author of several successful gardening books.
Andrew Lawson is widely regarded as England’s leading garden photographer. He has provided the photographs for many books, including Good Planting by Rosemary Verey, Penelope Hobhouse on Gardening, Designing Gardens (9780711217577) by Arabella Lennox Boyd, Little Sparta (9780711220850) by Jessie Sheeler, The Garden at Highgrove by HRH Prince of Wales, and The English Garden (9780711226388) by Ursula Buchan and The New English Garden (9780711232709) also by Tim Richardson. He holds the Royal Horticultural Society’s Gold Medal for Photography and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Garden Writer’s Guild. His garden in Oxfordshire is open under the National Gardens Scheme.