Home Page

Book Review Heading

Gardens by the SeaBOOK REVIEWS

Gardens by the Sea

Barbara Segall

WHO doesn't dream of a garden by the sea, complete with panoramic views of the water just beyond your garden beds and borders? If you think you're immune to the charms of the coast, you won't be after flicking through the pages of this indulgent new book.

Gardens by the Sea, written by well-known British horticulturist Barbara Segall, takes a journey through 21 coastal gardens from New Zealand to Devon, California, Spain, Sydney and the south of France.

Gardens by the SeaEvery garden is distinctive, from a rocky outcrop in Maine to a sub-tropical haven in Durban on the Indian Ocean, and the text reveals the secret of each garden's success.

The Auckland garden of artist Diana Firth and her partner Mark Burns is one of those featured. This colourful garden (right) on the edge of the harbour faces north-northwest and is beset by winds from every direction except due south.

Keeping the harbour view was important to Diana and Mark, and by creating pockets of "jungle shelter" in what is otherwise a very open garden, they have transformed the site into a colourful scene, with vistas and quiet spaces for reflection and meditation.

Like many owners of gardens featured in Gardens by the Sea, Diana and Mark have learned which plants are most suitable to their particular site by trial and error. Barbara Segall discusses their successes and failures, and provides detailed background information needed to create successful seaside plantings.

The photography is lavish, but this is not just a coffee table ornament. Over 150 plants which thrive in coastal conditions (many of which are native to New Zealand) are profiled, making this book a useful reference for anyone trying to beat the elements to establish a coastal garden.

Gardens by the SeaSegall also provides specialist advice for coping with salt, wind, drought and sun, shingle and sandy soil. There's also a special chapter on garden design features from seashells and driftwood to boulders.

Gardens by the Sea is an essential practical guide to creating amazing gardens in exposed areas, and will offer inspiration to anyone trying to turn a difficult gardening site into a coastal oasis.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 107, October 3-16, 2002, Page 28

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

Weekend Gardener

Home | Journal | Newsletter | Conferences
Awards | Join RNZIH | RNZIH Directory | Links

20002024 Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture

Last updated: March 1, 2021