Author(s): Linda Kooluris Dobbs
Twenty-seven years in the making, The Gardens of the Vatican is a private photographic tour of eight centuries of 'green thoughts in a green shade'. The several gardens in the Vatican territory reflect the history of gardens in general. In addition to the Persian-influenced quadrant gardens of the Teuton Cemetery and the Secret garden, adorned with lemon-trees in pots, there are gardens in the Italian, French and English styles. The book is rich in anecdote and detail: Pope John XXIII liked to ramble along the pathways and chat with the gardeners. His predecessor Pius XII wanted solitude, so the gardeners were obliged to hide. There is a fragment of the Berlin Wall, a Chinese pavilion given by the Catholics of that country, and a gnarled old olive tree transplanted from Gethsemane in the Holy Land. The Gardens of the Vatican offers a fascinating and inspiring glimpse of a bachelor's refuge, through eight centuries of history.
Kildare Dobbs is an award-winning essayist and poet, author of some 16 books including Running in Paradise, for which he was given the Governor General's Award. He was born in India to Irish parents and for many years has been Canadian. His work has been widely anthologized, and in 2000 he was invested with the Order of Ontario. His favourite city is Rome.