Envisioning grand landscapes is one thing. But sculpting them out of the natural world is a god-like activity that both thrills and eludes me. Private Edens showcases twenty one seldom-seen estates from Massachusetts to Virginia unearthed by friend and author, Jack Staub, who happens to call one of them, Hortulus, his home. We visited most of these destinations together, often staying on site to better witness dawn. Jack pulled poetry out of the heady horticultural vapors while I chiseled pixels in the spectral light. Big beautiful gardens, big beautiful book. The publisher, Gibbs Smith, did a five-star job on the printing too.