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This book presents a chronological review of garden design which both simplifies the big picture and supplies a rationale, with examples, of the merits and demerits of each design period while reflecting on the social conditions which generated each one. It gathers together design ideas and their implementation over the last 500 years, presented in historical order and simplified to allow easy digestion by the reader, particularly if meeting the subject for the first time. As such the book demystifies history and identifies the relative importance of new approaches in design, particularly where they are seen to be progressive. Essential examples from each design period or style are included, based upon their contribution to the progress of design and relating to their value, particularly in the teaching of garden and landscape design principles. Thus the reader will be able to quickly grasp the essence of historical design styles, discover where they can go to see them for themselves and to appreciate how relevant they are to present day theories of design. By concentrating on Britain's own heritage the book offers a sound understanding of influences and thereby helps to inform design practice. Since the principles of design are universal, it will be of relevance in many countries throughout the world. The book is illustrated with photographs, diagrams and plans, creating a readily-accessible and informative volume.