Old Garden, New Gardener

Gay Search, Author, Geoff Hamilton, With BBC Books $15 (0p) ISBN 978-0-563-37126-7
In this guide to addressing the problems and possibilities of inherited neglect, three British gardens pose as models: a once-respectable 1930s garden gone wild; a '50s backyard that never evolved beyond a few apple trees and a ""bumpy"" lawn; and a dump-like city lot where a feeble trellis was propped up by muscular grape vines. The properties are introduced with before-and-after photos, suggested planning strategies and design tricks (new lawn shapes, disguised fences, focal points, disappearing boundaries). Ensuing chapters separate the tangle of gardening demands into intelligible strands. Foremost is ""hacking""--which can range from selective subtraction to ""kill[ing] the whole lot off and start[ing] again""--and its less-violent cousin, pruning. A detailed pruning guide says the butterfly bush responds to tough-love, while testy lavender demands a lighter touch. Instructions for the renovation and planting of lawns, hedges, trees and borders are supplemented by advice on repairing fences, ponds, rockeries, pergolas, stone walls, patios. Some materials, practices and plant recommendations in this British transplant book are out of sync with the American market . (May)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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