Monty Don, the face of British gardening, has written a weekly Observer column on his garden for the past ten years. Over time the columns have been a practical guide, a poetic record of the garden’s changing seasons, and also a personal account of how the garden has kept his feet firmly planted on the ground through bad times and good. This is a collection of fifty of Monty’s best columns, that will delight his readers and gardeners everywhere. 'Growing vegetables, herbs and fruit should be done in the same spirit as choosing your music or clothes: with a mix of precision and adventure.' 4.1.98 'Gardens are complex and messy and, as in life, there are few easy fixes.' 17.1.99 'One swallow may not make a summer but it damn sure made my day.' 7.5.00 'Planting trees is deeply satisfying and good for the soul, especially on a winter's day. What else can a human do that leans so far into the future?' 27.12.98
Leendert Blok experimented with color photography and the use of the panoramic format. In the 1920s, the Dutch photographer worked in close collaboration with flower producers, providing color prints and autochromes for the display catalogues of the various species they cultivated. Blok portrayed flowers as objects of desire, using the Autochrome Lumiere technique. For Blok, photography related above all to the gaze. Muted tones and soft bronze hues reveal a timeless world of flora, in which corolla, petals and buds are sublimated by chiaroscuro. The flowers stand out against a plain dark background, alluding to the famous vanitas genre of the Dutch Golden Age. Tulips, dahlias, daffodils, irises, hyacinths and peonies reveal themselves in all their glorious diversity. Blok's photographs are reminiscent of botanists' slides of yore, immersing us in the immanence of plant life, in which each flower becomes a sculpture. Leendert Blok (1895-1986) was born in Holland and studied journalism in South Africa before returning to Lisse, near Amsterdam, where he established his Photo Technischbureau company, for which he procured work from nearby horticulturalists, producing their display catalogues while experimenting with panoramic formats and color photography. From 1925, when the use of color photography was relatively rare, he began using the autochrome technique, which involved making composite images from three-color separations on glass plates with potato starches. The resulting images could not be duplicated.
A comprehensive and practical guide for students and experienced designers alike, this carefully structured text is illustrated throughout with photographs and diagrams. It takes the reader through every aspect of the subject, from the components that make up a book, to understanding how books are commissioned and created, to the intricacies of grid construction and choosing a typeface. The role of the designer is discussed, with advice on how to interpret a design brief, and guidance on type use, images and information graphics. The production process is also explained, with detailed information on reproduction, printing and binding.