This is a portrait of forty of the best gardens in Dorset, from the intimate to the grand ranging over this timeless rural landscape of rolling hills, meadows, winterbournes and lush, well-wooded corners to the coast with its heathland, steep chines and spectacular cliffs. There are delights and surprises aplenty, including a Roman temple in the suburbs of Bournemouth; a folly nestled within the fern garden of an ancestral manor; a classic cottage garden festooned with roses, honeysuckle and clematis; the spectacular subtropical coastal gardens of Abbotsbury; and the Arcadian landscape at Minterne, where a hillside of Himalayan rhododendrons and azaleas looks out over a chain of lakes, waterfalls and streams. Written in close consultation with the owners of the gardens, Roger Lane's informative text details the history of each garden and its development under the current owners, and then focuses on design, planting and the garden's relationship with the surrounding landscape. Glorious photographs taken through the seasons show the gardens at their finest.
Roger Lane came into photography through motor racing with sponsorship from Agfa Gevaert in the late 1960's. His images were subsequently used in magazines, books and promotional media. In 2009 a selection of his classic motor racing images are to be published in a book Out of the Shadows (Halsgrove). Photographing and writing about gardens has long been another interest, and Roger has produced a number of magazine features with a particular interest in France and the landscapes of the French Impressionists. He works from his home in Poole.