The Garden Design Book

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9780060392079: The Garden Design Book

For years Garden Design magazine has been bringing its unique vision of the garden to a smart, savvy readership through its lush, arrestingly beautiful photography and thought-provoking, informative articles. Now Garden Design captures this wisdom and style in a book that delights the senses and enriches the mind. This book of visions for the new gardener. The man or woman who -- like most of us -- longs to create a special place within the world of nature.

Step-by-step, from essential design elements to offbeat flourishes, from the all-important conception of an overarching design plan (the hallmark of a successful garden, be it minimal and Japanese in style or an exuberant English countryside profusion of color and shape) to the basics of planting and cultivating, from the habits and personalities of both rare and common plants to suggestions on the best ways to make the most of limited growing space (crucial to land-deprived city dwellers). Cheryl Merser and the editors of Garden Design magazine explain the new garden: What is it, exactly? And what makes it grow?

From first seed to first frost -- season after season -- The Garden Design Book takes us through the sometimes complex, sometimes blessedly simple, but always rewarding experience that is gardening.

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Review:

Cheryl Merser and the editors of Garden Design magazine have produced a zaftig beauty of a garden book. The emphasis here is on "new gardening," with a nod to the traditional elements of garden design. New gardening combines a sophisticated treatment of the five senses and a natural style with a no-fuss approach to garden care. The book is marvelously organized, with rich sections that consider design elements such as boundaries, structures, pathways, and water, and a separate "Plants as Design Tools" section that considers plant color, texture, and form. Anyone designing a garden of any size from scratch will want to consult this book to clarify the planning steps, but also just to revel in its sheer gloriousness. With its exuberant, light-filled photos, this is the best possible coffee-table reading for rainy days; on sunny days, use it as a textbook in the garden.

Review:

The book is as useful and intelligent as the magazine, and just as calculated.... a valuable and potentially important book that manages to demystify and democratize the esthetics of garden design. The Garden Design Book brims with inventive solutions and inspiring case studies that, taken together, go a long way toward proposing a specifically American vision of a garden. -- The New York Times Book Review, Michael Pollan

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