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Disobedient Gardens

Perfectly Imperfect

One of the much discussed gardens from the publication

One of the much discussed gardens from the publication


Disobedient Gardens. Image from @thebookshopbowra on Instagram

Disobedient Gardens. Image from @thebookshopbowra on Instagram

Traditional Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi is an aesthetic centered on the acceptance of the passage of time and imperfection and that everything has beauty in every stage of being.  For Landscape designer Michael Cooke it is these imperfections and mother nature’s quirks and idiosyncratic disobedience within a garden, that evokes it’s divergent character.  

In his new book ‘Disobedient Gardens’ he celebrates the spirit of Mother Nature and features five gardens, including his own, and explains how elements of the rogue within a garden, when combined with order can create a garden that is matchless, breathtaking and evolving.

“I prefer gardens that are allowed to show their personality and inner spirit,’’ Cooke says.

“I consider a wayward tendril OK, or appreciate a branch that overhangs a path and a faded bloom that’s allowed to go to seed.

“Too many contemporary gardens are straight and uptight.”

Disobedient Gardens, by Michael Cooke & Brigid Arnott (Murdoch Books).