September 08, 1986 12:00 PM

by Anthony Paul

A dozen years ago, Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny, the subject of many glorious Impressionist paintings, was restored. Photographs of the gardens have been published widely (one is included in this beautiful book), and the splendor of a garden in which water is a major element was made clear once again. This book, with 180 color illustrations, shows the variety and possibilities of such gardens all over the world, and includes a how-to section as well. One swimming pool is designed to look like a natural pond. A still pool reflects colorful flowers, and water itself is home to exotic lilies and other special plants. There are Oriental gardens, spas, canal-style gardens, waterfalls, quiet ponds, bogs (with unique plant life) and formal swimming pools. One particularly intriguing lagoon garden comes complete with everything but Esther Williams. Paul—a British garden designer, consultant and teacher—provides plans, construction technique instructions, information on a wide variety of plants, lighting for night, and just about everything anyone would ever want to know about a water garden. Best of all, this book, like the others in this fine series (The Viking Home Gardening Bookshelf), is not just encyclopedic and useful. It manages to be profoundly satisfying to lazy browsers who aren’t likely to ever come closer to a water garden than their backyard hose. (Viking, $27.50; paper, $14.95)

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