The Low-Maintenance Garden: A Complete Guide to Designs, Plants and Techniques for Easy-Care Gardens

Susan Berry, Author, Steve Bradley, Author, Steve Bradley, Joint Author Firefly Books $29.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-55209-514-0
Berry and Bradley (coauthors of Contained Gardens) aim at gardeners willing to invest time and effort in exchange for an end result that won't require as much upkeep as the traditional lawn-and-border arrangement. The authors cover a lot of ground, breaking down the information they present so that each turn of the page reveals a new topic, from incorporating hard surfaces, such as bricks and paving, to the use of ornamental grasses. Packed with photos, small sidebars and a ""low-maintenance rating"" (small water fountains, for example, receive four out of a possible five stars for ease of care), the material is heavier on inspiration than how-to, although thumbnail instructions are included for a variety of projects, such as building a raised bed from bricks and establishing a fern bed. A slightly longer discussion on converting an existing garden into one that requires less labor is followed by an analysis of half a dozen gorgeous gardens of different styles--from traditional Japanese to an ""urban jungle."" The final section explains how the three ps of garden chores--planting, pruning and propagating--can be streamlined. There is a great deal for thought here, particularly for intermediate and experienced gardeners, and the eye-catching presentation packs a pleasant visual punch. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Paperback - 144 pages - 978-1-55209-531-7
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