Gardening Magazine

Win A Copy of ‘Gardens of the Italian Lakes’

By David Marsden @anxiousgardener

On 5th May, Frances Lincoln publishes ‘Gardens of the Italian Lakes‘ by Steven Desmond, with photographs by Marianne Majerus.  Here’s your chance to win a copy, smoking hot off the press.


But first, a little about the book from Frances Lincoln.

The Italian Lakes are a favorite travel destination with gardens around Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, in the far north of Italy, admired throughout the world for their beauty, variety, magnificent natural location and exceptional scenery. ‘Gardens of the Italian Lakes,’ by historical gardens specialist Steven Desmond and award winning photographer Marianne Majerus, will appeal to armchair travellers and garden enthusiasts preparing for a visit in equal measure.

Lake Como is a deep lake hemmed in like a fjord by towering mountains. Lake Maggiore has the character of an inland sea, with ferries crossing to the famous island gardens for an afternoon in another world. Both lakes are lined with the towers, villas and grand hotels that speak of a complex history including key events in Italy’s struggle to achieve nationhood, inspiration for a string of illustrious writers and composers, and a long line of distinguished visitors.

The gardens featured include:

  • Villa Melzi, Bellagio – an early 19th-century romantic park on the lake shore
  • Villa Carlotta, Cadenabbia – a terraced 17th-century property with woodland
  • Villa del Balbianello, Lenno – a famously picturesque loggia
  • Villa D’Este, Cernobbio – a 16th-century cascade garden with royal connections
  • Villa Cicogna Mozzoni, Bisuschio – an intact 16th-century villa garden
  • Villa Della Porta Bozzolo, Casalzuigno – a rural baroque garden
  • Isola Bella, Stresa – a well-known island garden
  • Isola Madre, Stresa – an island retreat of flowers and birds
  • Villa San Remigio, Pallanza – an Edwardian garden made by two lovers
  • Villa Táranto, Pallanza – one of the world’s great woodland gardens

STEVEN DESMOND is a gardener, writer and lecturer with a special interest in the historic gardens of continental Europe. He has led more than thirty specialist tours to the gardens of the Italian Lakes, lectures at the University of Oxford and for NADFAS, advises on the conservation of historic gardens, and writes for Country Life magazine.

MARIANNE MAJERUS is a prestigious and prolific international photographer and winner of the Garden Media Guild Features Photographer of the Year Award 2013 as well as the GMG Photographer of the Year 2010. Marianne has contributed to many sumptuous gardening books and her title Highgrove: A Garden Celebrated was a bestseller in 2014. Her most recent books, Garden Design: A Book of Ideas with Heidi Howcroft (Mitchell Beazley) – for which Marianne won the Garden Media Guild ‘Book Photographer of the Year’ award – and Great Gardens of London with Victoria Summerly and Hugo Rittson Thomas (Frances Lincoln), were both published in 2015.

As a seventeen-year old, I cycled from Germany over the Alps to the Italian Lakes.  And I didn’t visit any gardens.  Not one.  And with that interesting anecdote told, here’s how to enter the prize draw:

say you want to enter in the “Any Thoughts?” box below


(if you don’t do so already) follow ‘The Anxious Gardener’ blog; follow me on Twitter and/or like The Anxious Gardener Facebook page.  The relevant follow buttons are in the sidebar.

You can also enter via Twitter or Facebook – check my twitter feed and FB page for details.

Please note that the prize can only be posted to a UK postal address.

The competition will close at midnight on Sunday 8th May 2016.

I shall draw the winner from my hat, contact the winner and add the result to the bottom of this post.

Good luck!


To order ‘Gardens of the Italian Lakes’ at the discounted price of £28 including p&p* (RRP: £35), telephone 01903 828503 or email [email protected] and quote the offer code QPG429.

*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

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