Country Gardening: Design Ideas and a Practical Guide

Theodore James, Jr., Author, Harry Haralambou, Photographer
Theodore James, Jr., Author, Harry Haralambou, Photographer ABRAMS $39.95 (184p) ISBN 978-0-8109-4120-5
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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From the same team who delivered Seaside Gardening comes another sleek, lushly photographed volume designed to inspire gardeners to greater horticultural heights. Once again, James proves an amiable host, quickly setting a casual tone in keeping with the style explored here. ""Informality is the key word when it comes to country living,"" he notes, and his relaxed prose is peppered with anecdotes, convivial bon mots and humor (as when he admits that his mother ""burst into tears"" the first time she laid eyes on his newly purchased rundown property). While James focuses in on such general subjects as garden architecture, whimsy and water features, readers are taken on an extensive tour that ranges from quaint and humble cottage-style gardens to the exclusive enclaves of the wealthy (including a bona fide deer park that sports a faux Greek temple). Haralambou's sumptuous photographs offer visual entr e into these country Edens, while James's conversational but information-packed captions identify the various plants pictured and elaborate on design concepts. The second half of the book contains a recommended plant list and a breezy ""practical guide,"" which James rightly notes ""is written for inexperienced gardeners."" As such, it offers a credible introduction to site assessment, flower-bed design, planting and maintenance, as well as tips on attracting (and repelling) wildlife. Any gardener who owns or aspires to own a spot away from the hustle and bustle of city life will find an inspirational feast here. (May)
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