The magnificent parks and gardens owned by English Heritage are far less well known than its evocative medieval abbeys or Victorian mansions. Yet these remarkable places offer a fantastic variety of outdoor pleasures. Some have stunning designs, while others are important for their history or their plants. A surprising number are brand new, and a few of the best are tiny. All are marvelously atmospheric testaments to the art of horticulture. English Arcadia reveals 25 of the best. Readers delight at homey Osborne, complete with charming vegetable plots for the royal children, then they marvel at the exotic Quarry Garden at Belsay Hall and appreciate the modern restraint of the Contemporary Heritage Scheme. These gardens from every corner of England and almost every century of the nation?s history are joined by essays that tell the story of how each was created and the sometimes eccentric families that owned them. Rounding out this marvelous resource is a look at the decay that the trees, fountains, and statues often fall prey to ? and the way they?ve been restored to delight viewers today.