Book Review: "Garden Design A Book Of Ideas"
This book is what its title says: a book of ideas. It functions in several ways: as a guide for homeowners (who are perhaps non- or beginning gardeners) facing the journey that is envisioning a new garden or reworking an old one, as inspiration for avid gardeners who need fresh ideas for their current garden, and as a fabulous fix of eye candy for those who love the beauty of gardens.
Hundreds of photographs illustrate the concepts described in the text, but even better, the photos are gorgeous. This is a book of coffee-table quality beauty, as well as being an overview of classic garden elements and styles, and a survey of current trends.
Eye candy example. Wish I'd taken this:
The book begins with basics to consider in the design process--climate, weather, location, and function. Next is an excellent survey on styles and how they are expressed in plants and hardscape. Styles include Mediterranean, modernist, classical, landscape, tropical, and Asian.
The components of gardens are then examined: structures, fencing, stairways, water features, and the various materials that make up those components, like stone and concrete. Each component is discussed and accompanied by multiple photo examples:
Next, the plants and their function in the garden, shrubs, bulbs, and a special section on the vegetable garden. Rather than a list of specific plants the book focuses on the role types of plants play in the landscape. Beyond plants, there are helpful suggestions on container and roof gardening, using art in the garden, and suggestions on how to handle what every garden has: awkward spaces.
Although this book was originally published in the UK, the concepts and ideas are applicable to my own California garden, with allowances for differences in climate. While many of the gardens shown are in the UK or Europe, some of the example photos are of California and Pacific Northwest gardens.
The text is easy to read and offers many helpful ideas even to a relatively experienced gardener. The photos are gorgeous--did I already say that? In short, I think this is an excellent book. This is my honest opinion. I plan to use some of the ideas in the book to try to make my garden more interesting, and I will update in the future how they work out.