Jimi Blake has spent the last 25 years discovering stand-out plants which he grows in dynamic and innovative ways at the fabulous Hunting Brook Gardens. As we “walk the garden” in this absorbing book it’s impossible not to gasp at his exuberant, highly idiosyncratic style and marvel at his acute eye for interesting plants.
Foliage plants play a key role, their finely cut leaves, extraordinary shapes and rich textures changing the way we think about trees and shrubs. In another bold move, cacti and succulents are summer planted to provide interesting pairings with hardy perennials while jewelbox geums, dahlias and salvias are carefully chosen for their long flowering and perfect hues.
Hunting Brook is always on the move and even regular visitors find fresh surprises around every corner. Yet from the open borders to the woodland and valley there is a grounded quality to the garden that reflects Jimi’s close ties with the land and respect for the spirit of the place.
A Beautiful Obsession inspires new garden projects, rewrites the rule book about combining plants and changes the way you think about plants and gardens.
“Blake is what could be described as gardening royalty. Ever since he worked his special magic as a young graduate of the Botanic Gardens at Airfield in Dublin all those years ago, he’s been acquiring a growing international reputation as a maverick designer and brilliant propagator with a wizardly touch when it comes to unexpected, outlandishly beautiful plant combinations.” Fionnuala Fallon, The Irish Times
“The story of one man’s love affair with plants, this is a personal account of bold plant selection and creative gardening in a world that never stands still.” Benjamin William Pope in Gardens Illustrated
“Much more than a coffee table book…insights and inspiration with every turn of the page.” John Manley, The Irish News
“In his seventeen years at Huntingbrook Garden, Jimi Blake has cut a dash through the traditional herbaceous border, the shrub border, the woodland garden and is leading the way in Irish horticulture with his innovative approach to gardening, with his new plant trials and introductions but, most of all, in the manner in which he has made gardening such fun and such a joy.” Paddy Tobin, Irish Garden Plant Society
“On a hill near Blessington, County Wicklow sits Hunting Brook Gardens, a wondrous place of tropical delights that is the subject of a new book, A Beautiful Obsession.” Donal O’Donoghue, RTÉ Guide