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Private Landscapes

Modernist Gardens in Southern California

Pamela Burton, Marie Botnick

     9.25 × 11.75 in (23.5 × 29.8 cm)
Hardcover
192 pages
150 color illustrations, 81 b/w illustrations
Publication date: 2/1/2003
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568984025


When we think of the gardens of Southern California, we tend to think of the enormous semiarid landscapes of the Huntington and Rancho Los Alamitos, often built on the sprawling grounds of former ranches. But there is another garden tradition in Southern California: the modest, rectangular suburban plots designed by the most famous architects of mid-century modernism: Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler, Gregory Ain, Raphael Soriano, Harwell Hamilton Harris, A. Quincy Jones, and John Lautner. These architects saw the garden as an outdoor extension of the space of the houses they designed, rather than a neo-Spanish fantasy to be added later by a "landscapist." Their modern gardens made use of low-maintenance, drought-resistant plants, and made room for informal outdoor living by children and adults with an emphasis on recreation and exercise.

The first book of its kind, Private Landscapes profiles twenty significant gardens-and their accompanying houses-by these celebrated architects. Using contemporary photographs by Julius Shulman and newly commissioned color images, along with plans and plant lists, Private Landscapes provides a never-before-seen look at these gardens. As beautiful and practical now as they were 50 years ago, these designs continue to provide inspiration for gardeners and designers everywhere.


Pamela Burton is a noted landscape architect in Los Angeles who has been instrumental in restoring several mid-century gardens in Southern California.

Marie Botnick is an interior designer specializing in re-creating modernist interiors and responsible for restoring a major Richard Neutra residence in Los Angeles. She lives in Ojai, California.


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