I should say from the start that I have been a fan of Andrea Cochran’s work for many years. It speaks to my own interest in modern design, architecture, and landscape architecture. It speaks also, and most importantly, to the garden as art. A small but important collection of her gardens is shown in this book. Each is powerful, evocative, and memorable.
The book is nicely crafted—artful and a pleasure to read. Extensive narrative and plant lists describe each of the gardens, but it’s really the photographs (the majority by the noted Marion Brenner) that tell the story best. These convey the spirit and character of the landscapes so well that anyone who simply sits with the book and lets these images soak in, will be as captivated as I was.
Andrea’s gardens show the hand of a confident designer and a good storyteller. They are complex pieces and, most certainly, required extensive collaboration to make them work. Hence, the well-crafted look and rightness of each design.
This is not your typical fare of modern landscape architecture. It is more a look at modern art in the garden—about gardens embodying a boldness and integrity that I think will age well. They might even get better with time, much like the old Montecito estates that seem to improve with a bit of neglect and decay. They have a brooding moodiness that I find compelling in a good garden.
Andrea Cochran: Landscapes is a great read and a must-have for serious garden makers, no matter your age or artistic inclination.
William Peters, landscape architect
San Rafael, California