The gardens are carefully selected, on the basis of key figures in landscape architecture, to illustrate the influence of each on the various traditions of gardening around the globe. They range, therefore, from the palaces of kings to the all-consuming passions - often bordering on obsession - of amateur enthusiasts. Written in an accessible way, the text explains the role of each chosen figure in the development of the garden, as well as the important changes to the garden over time.
Each designer is represented by a full-page illustration, mostly in colour, of their most significant garden. Long-vanished wonders, such as the mythical gardens of Babylon, are illustrated by artists' impressions and engravings.
Each page includes meticulous cross-references to other designers working in a similar style, movement or time period, as well as biographical information about the designer. The book also includes an easy-to-use glossary of terms and movements, as well as an extensive directory of gardens.