The City Gardener: Urban Oasis

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( 5 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780007176281: The City Gardener: Urban Oasis

Channel 4’s The City Gardener, Matt James, is back with a new series and a new book, full of practical advice and design inspiration to turn your weed-filled wasteland into the hippest
urban playground on the block!

• Where to start – in this first section Matt gets straight down to business, providing practical answers to the question all first-time gardeners ask, ‘where on earth do I start?!’, including: how to carry out a site survey, deciding what style of garden you want and how to reflect your lifestyle in the design, where to buy plants and how to spot a good one.

• Making the skeleton – this is where we begin to get creative and learn how to plan out a garden, starting with the bare bones of the basic structure and moving onto how to hard landscape your design, turning theory into practice

• The Range of Plants – an introduction to the different plant types and how each can be used to combat an urban-specific problem like noise pollution, or create a particular effect, such as lending architectural form or providing seasonal interest

• Putting It All Together – this is where Matt shows how to bring together everything you’ve learnt about planning, hard landscaping and plants to create sensational planting layouts; specific topics covered include using height and space, colour, texture and scent, and planting styles such as prairie, formal and exotic, to create the garden you want

• Plant Directory – a problem-solving look at the best plants for particular places and conditions e.g. plants for damp spots, shady corners, specific soil types and garden aspect

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Review:

Would-be celebrity gardeners are popping up all over the place now that gardening is the new whatever-the-last-thing-was. You can spot them by the look-at-me TV series and the accompanying book. Among the latest hopefuls in search of an unoccupied niche is The City Gardener, Matt James, whose outstanding characteristic as a gardener is that he lacks a garden. Disarmingly, he confesses at the outset that his personal garden real estate is limited to a small balcony. But of course this is the whole point. City gardening has always been about making do with what little you've got, about ameliorating minimal and unsympathetic spaces and sour, bricky soil (if you're lucky). Matt James goes about his business with the enthusiasm of the first-time author. A Preamble Round the Garden lays out the basic premises--gardening must really be about pleasure or it's not about anything; and throw away the rule book--and he's off. The body of the book is crammed (literally--the designer has opted for a crowded layout and an annoyingly hard to read typeface) with advice on adapting awkward spaces, choosing and placing plants, hiding unwanted features, and so on. It concludes with profiles of a selection of plants chosen for their suitability in the town garden. The many photographs feature the photogenic James quite intensively, sometimes gardening (obviously in somebody else's garden), sometimes sitting around looking shyly at the camera. There's probably nothing here that you won't find in other gardening books, but urban gardeners will relish a book that addresses with energy and conviction precisely the challenges they face. -- Robin Davidson

Review:

“fantastic”
– Amateur Gardening

“answers the questions you should be asking if you are designing a small urban oasis from scratch, from what you want to use it for to what good soil really means”
– Daily Telegraph

Praise for The City Gardener:

“May inspire the most unlikely horticulturalists to take to their barren patch of earth with grand ideas of Yorkshire-stone paving and pergolas in the claps of amorous vines.”
– The Guardian

“utterly accessible and full of sound advice for the complete beginner… you’ll soon be set to create a piece of heaven in Hackney or Hulme, without a Titchmarsh -style cardigan in sight”
– Heat ****

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