SHORTLISTED FOR THE SMALL PRESS NETWORK BOOK AWARD 2017
What the judges said about Horse Island:.
Horse Island is a lavish book about the extraordinary garden Christina Kennedy created at her home on the South Coast of NSW featuring only Australian indigenous plants. Beautifully illustrated in colour and indexed, Horse Island tells in wonderful detail the story of how this unfenced 200-acre paddock came to life plant-by -plant, season-by-season. The essays also speak to the importance Christina placed on maintaining its historical and possibly future native significance. This special place was inspired by Christina’s great-great grandfather Thomas Mort, of whose original estate Horse Island was a part, and the botanical passion and ‘can do’ attitude that her mother inherited from him. The connection and gratitude to both her family and community, who were instrumental with their expertise and know-how, is at the heart of this book and Christina’s generous references to their contribution make this book and the Horse Island gardens even more special. This is an essential reference book for anyone embarking on the creation of a native garden or for those seeking inspiration for a large project. While it is an aspirational book about finding a corner of the world and claiming it as yours, Horse Island also highlights our responsibility to leave something behind that is both extraordinary and meaningful.
Horse Island, the private retreat of Christina and Trevor Kennedy, sits tucked away in an estuary of Tuross Lake on the South Coast of NSW. To the west, softened by distance, are the mountains of the Great Dividing Range. To the east is the sea. But what is most surprising in this place of great natural beauty is the remarkable garden created by Christina, featuring only Australian indigenous plants.
This great garden reveals itself gradually − as did Christina’s own passion in its creation. Gardens and gardening had always been around Christina, but were not in the foreground until she was faced with the mess and devastation of the landscape when she began her first building project on the island. A timely suggestion from a friend directed her towards native plants. Christina’s own desire to complement and enhance the existing natural beauty then took shape, forming the basis of her thinking and of all her designs.
To visit the Island is to engage with Christina’s passion, her knowledge and enthusiasm for Australian plants, and to hear her stories about all she has discovered including her mistakes and learning curves, during the long process of creating the garden.
Horse Island, the book, reflects Christina’s own desire to share the true magic of an extraordinary place. We walk beside her as she guides us around the island encouraging us to think differently about native plants and how they are used in a domestic situation.
It is the author’s own gardening story, her total zeal for and commitment to indigenous plants combined with gorgeous photography that creates this truly beautiful book.
Distributed by Peribo
Horse Island can be purchased through any bookshop from around Australia, New Zealand or online from Booktopia.
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