Thoughts on Garden Design: Inspiration, Style, Structure, Colour, Planting

Marylyn Abbott, Author
Marylyn Abbott, Author Kyle Cathie Limited $35 (192p) ISBN 978-1-85626-488-4
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Renowned garden designer Abbott follows up Gardening with Light with this inspiring, knowledgeable tome on garden design, based on her career's highs and lows. Abbott's principal testing ground for her ""enthusiasms-for water, geometry and minimal simplicity"" are her gardens in Hampshire, England, and New South Wales, Australia. Large parcels of land in these very different climates have given her room to work out her eclectic gardening ideals. To Abbott, a garden is ""a stage set"" built first from hard landscaping (fountains, pools, etc.), then with the addition of trees, shrubbery and, finally, plants and flowers. Water-colored illustrations show the plan for some of her gardens; others are illustrated with photos. Abbott also shares ideas from various gardens she's encountered on her travels-though not all are pictured-and points out mistakes she's made so readers can avoid them. A final section on color, with garden color schemes of steel, citrus and purple, to name a few, is a stand-out in inspiration. Although many of the gardens are stunning, they require more money, time and devotion than a hobbyist would be able to give. There's also the frustration of reading about beautiful flowers, such as a ""grey pearl rose,"" but not seeing them pictured. Abbott's text is rich with years of acquired gardening knowledge, generously shared and beautifully illustrated. Photos.
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