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    rebecca sweet

    Great post, Susan and Shelley! I'm so excited to get my grubby little hands on this book, but unfortunately can't attend tonight's book signing.

    I just found out, however, that Cornerstone Gardens (in Sonoma) will be having another book-signing by John Greenlee November 21st, from 11-4:00. I'm planning on attending and can't wait!


    I've got my eye on that book! It could be the solution to the semi-wilderness that occupies the space in front of my house.


    You know this book is going on my wish list.
    I loved the line "I gleefully remove lawn whenever possible." I wish all designers would enjoy this feeling more.


    Shelley, Thank you for a real introduction to this book. I have been hearing the buzz but this is the first time I have seen details.

    Shelley Somersett

    The book launch was great. Saxon and John were each delightfully happy to be amongst followers of the meadow dream. The Garden Conservancy and Flora Grubb offered up the ambiance and good fare. Now I'm waiting to hear the resounding 'sod off' to lawns from the masses. Yes I know what that means, my last name is Somersett.


    Shelley, thank you for a wonderful introduction to The American Meadow Garden. I got my grubbies on it at the Garden Conservancy signing, the first page now sporting "To a Carex Lover" and John & Saxon's fabulously unreadable signatures.

    I was so sad to have missed Saxon's part of the talk, we were stuck in awful traffic, so I'll probably act like a groupie and hit the Cornerstone event, as well. I truly enjoyed John's talk and especially that he gave major props to Michael Pollan's "Second Nature: A Gardener's Education", reading from the seminal, and now decades old examination of the sociology and history of the Great American Lawn.

    Having not delved far beyond several salivatory sessions of looking at images, I've not formed my own thoughts around how this book will influence my design choices, but I do know what I'll be doing with my reading hour for the next several weeks, and that is the mark of a well chosen library purchase, no?

    Thanks for a wonderfully informative review!

    Susan (garden chick)

    Plantanista, between you and Rebecca, sounds like the beginning of a fun tweet-up at Cornerstone next week! I'm going to a birthday party or I'd join you for sure. Maybe I'll send my copy along with you so I can also have a wonderfully illegible inscription.


    Thanks for the review, Shelley. I was worried that this would be an all-grasses book. Mixed grass plantings can sometimes be tough to pull off successfully, but the photos show that compatible plants mixed with grasses can make for a great display. Yes, I agree that including arundo and pampas is a big faux pas unless it's prefaced with flashing warning letters not to try it at home, at least when home is where those plants have taken over!

    Greenlee was one of the speakers at my Bay Friendly sustainable design certification class on Tuesday. What a dynamic speaker! Pretty much all the photos he showed and gardens he described contained a sophisticated mix of grasses, perennials and bulbs (he's particularly fond of bulbs.) You would definitely have been inspired.

    Jim Lewis, Landscape Designer Portland Oregon

    I think it's a little bit of a misnomer that lawns and formal landscapes hurt the environment. It's true enough that mowers and other machinery used to care for landscapes pollute our air. But new regulations have cut this sort of pollution by more than half in recent years. And each year they are making machines with less and less emissions. Furthermore, the really good mulching mowers that are on the market reduce mowing time (and therefor emissions) by over 30%.

    It's also important to take into account the benefits that lawns provide. For instance, a 2500 sq. ft. lawn absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releases enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe. Also, lawns are more effective at rainwater retention and better at preventing soil erosion than other types of landscapes.

    Project Evergreen – Environmental Benefits of Lawns and Green Spaces

    Lawns also contribute a lot toward cooling. The cooling effect of an average size lawn is equal to about 9 tons of air conditioning.

    Project Evergreen – Economic Benefits of Lawns and Green Spaces

    I am all for people removing lawns if they just don't like them. But I disagree with the notion that they are inherently evil and should be done away with. Because there is evidence to the contrary.

    Landscape Designer Portland Oregon

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