The lush oases pictured in Luxury Private Gardens, the newest title in teNeues' brilliant Luxury Books series, veer between the pleasantly inspirational and oppressively beautiful. In other words, while looking at it made us want to rush outside and start planting things, it also made us despair of ever creating anything one tenth as attractive as the private paradises portrayed between its covers. Much better, we feel, to simply sit back, mix a drink, read the damned book and let someone else do the digging, pruning, weeding and whatnot. But we digress.
Even the most lavish gardens in these pages displaying "the highest standards of horticultural excellence" are founded on simplicity, the book assures us: "Stripped down to their bare essentials, they are like a well-cut couturier's gown - nothing but an utterly simple response to the unadorned landscape or the naked human body they are designed to fit." The incredible Villa d'Este in Lake Como, Italy (where part of Casino Royale was filmed) pictured on the cover, with its elegant, elaborate parterres doesn't exactly scream simplicity to us, but we could stare at it all day. See the gallery for a luxe garden tour.
Gallery: Luxury Private Gardens