Pick of the picture books: 80 Gardens, by Monty Don

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The Independent Culture

A travelogue from the perspective that "the most interesting thing to be found in any garden is the person that made it", this is not about world's "best" gardens, but the ones that say the most about the planet's diverse and wonderful gardeners. Around The World In 80 Gardens by Monty Don (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £20) takes in six continents (Antarctica not being a gardener's paradise) to prove the author's theory that "people are always more interesting than plants". Don is a curious and engaging guide, as thrilled by the ad hoc floating vegetable plots of the Amazon (right) as by formal Zen gardens in Kyoto or the Moonlight Garden of the Taj Mahal. "If I have only learnt one thing from my travels around the world, it is that no garden is an island," he writes. "Context is everything."

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