Updated 6-24: Timberpress is running a contest! Click here for a chance to win a $250 nursery gift certificate and a copy of Hellstrip Gardening!
Busy with clients and with my own garden, I’ve been neglecting my blog of late. But while I may have let blogging slide, in my ongoing search for design inspiration and gardening advice, I’ve still made time to check out the latest crop of garden books. Here are three that caught my attention:
More than a short-lived trend, food gardening is firmly in the mainstream, and Groundbreaking Food Gardens book offers a range of ideas that go beyond the traditional. I’ve always been a sucker for garden plans (in fact, they are the preferred form of wall art in my office) and this book offers many to savor. I was flattered that author Niki Jabbour chose to include the cocktail garden I designed two years ago for Amy Stewart, but believe me, a garden planted with cocktail ingredients and garnishes is downright tame compared to some of the other plans featured. Hot Dog garden, anyone? Most plans favor the practical over the exotic, however, and are designed to solve problems such as too much shade or limited space, or to appeal to a specific palette, like culinary herbs or foods for canning. You can read the more in-depth review I wrote for the Spring issue of The Designer here (page 24), and see more garden plans from the book.
Hellstrip Gardening, tackles an oft-neglected part of the landscape – those overlooked pockets of landscape that languish between the sidewalk and the street, or alongside driveways and alleyways. As many of my clients have limited garden space, I’m always interested in strategies to maximize every square inch of real estate available. The first section of the book (my favorite) is titled inspirations, and is packed with luscious photos of gardens that have been transformed from hellstrip to a little slice of heaven. Hellstrip Gardening offers more than just inspiration, covering strategies for a range of challenging situations, environmentally-friendly guidance on creating and maintaining a curbside garden and profiles for over 100 plants. I’m a long time fan of Evelyn’s work and this book doesn’t disappoint.
The 20-30 Something Garden Guide: A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty, Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff by Dee Nash
You might be surprised to hear I like this book because, you know, I’m OLD, but there is plenty to interest those just getting started down the path of gardening, regardless of age. While the guide is an all-around good book for anyone in the first stages of planning a garden, it narrows in on specific areas that I’ve learned from my own clients are of particular interest to Millenials, who tend to garden in smaller spaces and are interested in gardening for reasons other than just ornamental beauty or curb appeal. The first section is devoted to container gardening, while the middle portion of the book is dedicated to growing food in either the front or back yard. Additionally, the sections on planning and designing a garden recognize that younger gardeners gravitate towards connectedness, and recommends plants based in part on the sensory experiences they can provide. More information and garden advice is available on the book's blog.