Author(s): Timms, Peter
Who invented the rotary clothesline, the lawn-mower and the fibreglass swimming pool? Why are our back gardens today so different from those of our grandparents? And whatever happened to the chrysanthemums and marigolds that once made front gardens so colourful? In this fascinating and detailed look at the ordinary suburban block, Peter Timms traces the development of its design, its plantings and its hidden meanings, explaining how we have used our gardens for pleasure, relaxation and food production. Dogs and chooks, woodsheds, lavatories, fruit trees, fences and even the illuminated Santa Claus at Christmas - Timms has something new and surprising to say about them all. From plots to plants, Timms describes the decline of the manicured lawn and the productive home vegetable garden, and our passion for roses and gladioli. He uncovers how Australia became the world's first great suburban nation, and how social and economic developments have altered the layouts of front and back gardens. "Australia's Quarter Acre" is, above all, a spirited defence of the suburban garden, which is, as Timms so lovingly shows, a valuable and unique part of our national heritage.