Anthony Noel Great Little Gardens

ISBN 13: 9780711223639

Great Little Gardens

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9780711223639: Great Little Gardens
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This book sets out to prove that biggest is not always best – as portrayed in the stunning photography – with advice on how to achieve creative design in a small space.

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Review:

Books about small gardens are ten-a-penny: too often, they are written by gardeners who nurture ambitions as trifling and small as the plots they work in. Anthony Noel is different. When small gardens are simply ordinary laid-back gardens scaled down to fit, Noel says, the result somehow manages to be fussy and drab at the same time. On the contrary, small gardens require overscale, architectural planting, large features, and a decorator's eye.

"I love decoration, and have even been described as a decorator-gardener," Noel says. "Flattering or disparaging as that may be, it seems to me that when the spaces you work on are often not much bigger than the average room, you cannot afford to ignore the possibilities that decorative effects offer."

Noel's arguments for overscaling are practical and persuasive. Plants and flowers need organising to display them at their best. In a small garden, clean simple lines are the only practical way of achieving a strong setting. Don't worry that the result will appear too regimented: on this scale, the plants will do all the softening for you.

What this is not, is a recipe for hamfisted amateur dramatics: a small garden needs to react and play with its surroundings. Echoing the features of neighbouring gardens and even architecture is a favourite technique of Noel's, and one well illustrated in this volume. In addition, Noel spends some time describing ageing techniques that will soften the most inimical new garden. The vision of Noel pissing on his pots (to encourage lichen) and beating the daylights out of his newly laid brick patio with a sledgehammer and planting wild thyme in the cracks is enough to give the Ground Force set the screaming coniptions: I know no higher praise.--Simon Ings

Review:

... captures the new spirit emerging in town gardens today (Country Life)

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ISBN 10: 0711223637 ISBN 13: 9780711223639
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