Scent Magic author Isabel Bannerman's selection of favorite poetry and prose pieces evoking the scent of plants, stunningly illustrated with her unique botanical photographs
"While researching an article I came across the adorable and preposterously unusual star-nosed mole. All moles use their noses stereoscopically to detect the whereabouts of prey in the murky under-land, but the star-nosed has highly sensitive star-shaped fingers protruding from its nose, as if invented by Edward Lear, and it catches and eats its prey quicker than almost any other living thing. The mole inspired me to rummage through discarded papers and deep dark hard drives to fish out these friends. Put the text with images, and share. A sort of Commonplace book." —Isabel Bannerman
In reviews of Scent Magic, Isabel was lauded for "putting into words what so much escapes language. With a wonderful range of reference and allusion, it's nothing less than poetry..." (London Evening Standard).
And here, bringing the written pieces together with her dramatic, powerful and mysterious plant images, she evokes the scented garden through poetry and prose spanning millennia, from Martial to Proust, Milton to Colette, and P.G. Wodehouse to Alice Oswald.
About the Author
Garden designer Isabel Bannerman and her husband, Julian, have won Gold Medals at Chelsea and designed gardens for a wide range of people, including HRH The Prince of Wales. They also designed the British 9/11 Memorial Garden in New York. Isabel has always taken photographs and she began making her particular style of botanical scans in 2003. She has had four solo shows of her work. She wrote and photographed Landscape Of Dreams (Pimpernel Press, 2016). Her second book, Scent Magic, was published by Pimpernel in 2019.
"Charismatic anthology … the short and flavourful passages allow you to savour unfamiliar texts and rekindle love for already cherished authors." —Gardens Illustrated
'Enjoyment of gardens and plants is a many-splendoured thing. Our response to both is multifaceted, as layers of meaning and memory are laid down with every fresh encounter with nature. Scent is a key component, and this wondrous book — a mystical amalgam of poetry and prose, combined with the author’s extraordinary photographs — brings this essential sensory element of the joy of gardening to the fore." —Sunday Times 10 Best Gardening Books 2021
"I was thoroughly transported...it’s as much a memoir through a lifetime of appreciating the fragrance of the seasons as it is a plant guide. This is a beautiful and moving book, something to linger over, to cherish — and to remind us, as Bannerman writes, 'this is a great day to inhale'." - The New York Times Book Review on Scent Magic
"Looking for a present for a bookish garden lover? . . . It takes the reader on an olfactory journey through the seasons, brilliantly capturing what is so often beyond words." Country Living