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The Essential Garden Design Workbook

Rosemary Alexander
Timber Press
Reviewed by Robert Gordon

IF you're a serious gardener wanting to start from scratch, here's something to chew over. For once the cover blurb has it right - it's not a book that's just about pretty pictures, but a step-by-step practical guide.

Rosemary Alexander is founder-principal of the English Gardening School in London's Chelsea but there's much - particularly in the sections on research and design and development - that can be considered fundamental to sound garden design anywhere in the world.

It'll take a bit of persistence on the part of the layperson to absorb the detail in this book, but Alexander has a no-nonsense approach, as her warning on the use of herbaceous plants shows: "Avoid using too many different types of plants, which can result in borders that look restless and unbalanced," she says. "To give continuity, repeat certain groupings."

But the real strength is Thomas's attention to design minutiae (even down to a checklist on what to watch out for if you use imitation paving).

The Essential Garden Design Workbook is a worthwhile investment if you have garden dreams but need a toolbox to make them happen.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 192, 2006, Page 35
(reproduced in New Zealand Garden Journal, 10(1), 2007, Page 30)

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

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Last updated: March 1, 2021