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Monastic Gardens [Hardcover]

By Mick Hales (Author)
Our Price $ 29.75  
Retail Value $ 35.00  
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Item Number 122427  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   158
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.8" Width: 9.2" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   2.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 2000
Publisher   Harry N. Abrams
ISBN  155670982X  
EAN  9781556709821  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Private worlds glimpsed by a privileged few, monasteries have long maintained an aura of mystery. Outsiders imagine the silent seclusion, the austere settings, the rigorous routines of a religious life. But these sacred places share a common bond with the secular realm. Monks and nuns, too, know the peace and the pleasure that come from gardening.

In Monastic Gardens, Mick Hales goes behind the gates for a rare look at the integral role a garden plays in the life of a monastery. Gardening is not undertaken for decorative purposes alone: Instead, fruits and vegetables flavor meals and carefully tended refuges are the perfect spot to pray. Surprisingly vibrant blossoms may even decorate a guest room or altar. Starting from the cloister garth and spanning outward to the sacristan's cutting garden, the physic or herb garden, the vegetable garden, the orchards, and the vineyards, Hales's evocative images capture the many facets and functions of monastic grounds.

Through insightful interviews, members of the different orders discuss the divine purpose of gardening and its symbolic significance in Christian faiths. Hales also writes about the history of such sanctuaries, from one of the first, tended by Saint Anthony in third-century Egypt, to the present-day monastery cared for by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Rock in Shaw Island, Washington. Whether the photos are of a medieval abbey or a modern American monastery, Monastic Gardens immortalizes these holy sites that seem to transcend the limitations of time.

Buy Monastic Gardens by Mick Hales from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781556709821 & 155670982X

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More About Mick Hales

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Michael Henry Adams studied at Columbia University and is one of the foremost authorities on the architecture and culture of Harlem. He has been featured in countless articles on the architecture and preservation of Harlem. He has also written for the New York Times and numerous other leading newspapers and magazines. He is the author of Harlem Lost and Found, which was the basis for a 2004 Museum of the City of New York exhibit.
Photographer Mick Hales's work has appeared in such magazines as House and Garden, Vanity Fair, Architectural Record, and Town and Country. His books include Monastic Gardens, New York Apartments, and Gardens Around the World.

Mick Hales currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York. Mick Hales was born in 1951.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Beautiful book  Jan 9, 2007
Very interesting, very beautiful book illustrated by photographs of present day monastic gardens in Europe and the UK.
More than a coffee table book  Nov 10, 2006
I recently purchased this book as a gift for a friend after hearing a review from a fellow book club member.

My friend is a long-time gardener and has also attended retreats at several convents and monasteries. She was delighted with the information in the book as well as the beautiful photographs. Especially interesting are the explanations of the selection of plants included in the various parts of the gardens.

I would recommend this book as a must-have for the serious gardener's library.
Great monastic gardens, and great photographs  Feb 27, 2006
This book is a precious insight into a way of life which is rare today, and all the more valuable as a result. The photographs are beautiful and informative, the text respectful but not synchophantic. I've read it twenty times and still find opening the next page a real treat.
Greening love....  Jan 13, 2002
Books on the origins of English words, generally agree the word 'garden' comes from the old German for an enclosed safe space where living things including vegetables, flowers and children can be safely grown. Modern dictionaries expand the meaning a bit, but for the most part gardens remain places of safety, nurturing, repose, and reflection. The huge fields containing monocrops grown by large commercial interests, where nothing survives except the cash crop of interest, are the antithesis of the garden, which is literally and figuratively the source of life.

According to the Christian Bible (and the Jewish Torah), the original garden (Eden) contained the tree of life. MONASTIC GARDENS, by Mick Hales, is about the importance of gardens for the well being of bodies, minds, emotions, and eternal souls. The places he visited and photographed in the U.S. and Europe reflect the lost paradise and the paradise to come. Many of the gardens contain a tree as a focal point in remembrance of the Garden of Eden.

In addition to setting an example of the life well lived, providing a place of refuge for the weary soul, and working for their own sustanance, the most important good deed the monks and nuns who tend the living spaces in monastic gardens do is to contribute to the preservation of the diversity of life humankind at times seems bent on obliterating in it's mad quest for "perfection". Around the world other spiritual/religious groups are similarly engaged in this very important work. One can think of the Amish who live in the mid-Atlantic areas of the U.S. as like-minded souls who understand the modern obsession with "perfectionism" is a deadly illusion if not downright sinful.

Hale's photographs and text encourage meditation. Cloister walks and clipped box mazes reflect the paradox of life as a journey of the soul toward the infinite. An orchard where a fallen Quince stained with a bit of decay lies in the sunlit grass reminds one of her own mortality. All these photographs reflect the work of the creator who is the divine spark that sets the monks and nuns on their daily rounds.

MONASTIC GARDENS is a beautiful book of prayer and meditation. Forget for a moment the strife and hatred of those who do not know love, and focus on the words Hildegard Bingen who said, "greening love hastens to the aid of all.." This is not a book about the life of priviledge. This is a book that points the way for all.

A Truly Unique Book!  Dec 18, 2001
This book is a unique find. I have never seen a book before that explores monastic life in this way. The gardens are both functional and glorious. The photos are absolutely stunning. Oftentimes I have read books where the photos take center stage and the text is an afterthought. This book is an exception. It is a very rich story that compliments the brillant photos. After reading the book, I felt like I had joined the author in his travels and explorations. I will defintely be looking for more books by him in the future!

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