This book was an impulse purchase. I was in a bookstore. I was in the gardening section. (Of course!)
I was not going home without something to read. That is, not if I could pick out a book fast enough, as I was being hurried along. So I was quickly thumbing though some gardening books, and picked up Mr. Smith's book. I liked the photos, and it was either buy a book, or go home empty. So, this was the book I bought.
I am so glad I did!
At the time I bought it, I was trying to design my garden. I was looking for some help, and some inspiration.
I got both.
This book is about the garden Mr. Smith made encircling his suburban home. He designed several different garden rooms, each leading to the other, yet each room is unique, beautiful, and functional. He explains how he took design elements, and fit them to his garden space (such as scaling down an English border for his front garden room).
His garden is broken into 12 different areas. There are plenty of photos of each space, an explanation of each are, and a map of the entire garden on page 30. His garden does have a lot of formal elements to them, which I like. If you don't like formality in your garden, you will probably not enjoy this book as much as I do. Perhaps another book would work better for you.
I was amazed how much he could pack into one suburban lot. There is a water feature, a dining space, vegetable beds, and even a service area. (Design a service area!? What a great idea!) Each space had something I wanted to use in my garden in some capacity. Even now, when I look through this book, I find ideas I want to use somewhere in my garden.
After showing us his garden, Mr. Smith then explains 12 design principles. I probably didn't get as much from these design principles as Mr. Smith would have wanted, although they gave me a lot to think about, and there are still a lot of creative ideas in this section.
|This photo, taken in May, shows several of Mr. Smith's design principles at work:|
Enclosure, Focal Point, Structures, Color, and Abundance
The last section is about creating your own garden home, with practical advice about shape, areas, pathways, privacy, views, walls, etc. There are no pretty pictures in this section. This section is like a workbook for you to think about what will actually work in your own particular space.
If you are in the creation stage of your garden, and you like a touch of formality in gardens, you will like this book. Check it out. Every time I add a new area to my garden, I go back through this book. It always gives me an idea or two I can adjust to my own garden.
Do you have a garden book to share? I'd love for you to join in! Any book with a gardening influence in it qualifies!
And be sure to visit the other participants, too! :)