“I cannot imagine anyone reading this fine little book without beginning to form some really big plans. “
---- The Boston Globe
“One of our finest guides … he shows us how we can cease our wanderings and come to know a place “
--- American Book Review
The Wildest Place on Earth:
Italian Gardens and the Invention of Wilderness
Over a period of ten years, Mitchell constructed on his Scratch Flat land, a version of an Italian garden --- complete with a labyrinth, something that was de rigueur in the earliest Roman gardens. Continuing the exploration, over a series of four different trips, he revisits some of the most famous Italian gardens, starting in the south at Caserta and moving northward all the way to the island gardens of the Italian Lake District. He argues in this book that the formal, orderly, Italian garden, with its allées and axis, clipped hedges, and statuary is in fact the inspiration for the appreciation of wilderness and wild lands that emerged in nineteenth century America and led, ultimately, to the creation of the National Park system.