John Brookes, the "man who invented the modern British garden and ushered in the ubiquitous 1990s decking trend," died March 16, the Times reported. He was 84. Brookes "introduced the concept of the geometric grid as the basic structural form of the garden--in a nod to the artist Mondrian--in his first book, Room Outside (1969)."
His other works include The Essentials of Garden Design, The Garden Book and Country Garden. His memoir, A Landscape Legacy, was recently published in the U.K. "More than anyone else Brookes established garden design as a viable and respectable profession to sit alongside landscape architecture," the Times noted.
DK, his long-term U.K publisher, paid tribute to Brookes as "one of the most influential garden designers of the last 50 years." The Bookseller reported that he wrote eight books for DK, including The Indoor Garden Book (1986) and The Small Garden Book (1989), the latter being described by DK as his "greatest triumph." It sold 365,000 copies worldwide and, when it was reissued in 2006 in a new format as Small Garden, sold another 135,000 copies.
DK publisher Mary-Clare Jerram said Brookes was a "much loved" and "inspirational" garden designer. "His work was deeply admired at DK--several staff were fortunate to have their gardens designed by him--and he will be missed by all who had the pleasure and stimulation of working with him."