Surrounded by plants — from ground cover such as Thymus and container plants — this outdoor space is designed for entertaining.
Source: Leela Cyd/Tenspeed Press, An Imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC
all about style
Small Garden Style: A Design Guide for Outdoor Rooms and Containers, by Isa Hendry Eaton and Jennifer Blaise Kramer, Tenspeed Press, hardback, $22
all about style
Elements such as string lights can create a virtual ceiling to outdoor spaces, and they add a soothing glow at night.
inside or out, personal style makes any space distinct and right at home
Do you dream of a gorgeous garden, ripe with greenery, veggies and even just a place to hang when inside feels too cluttered? We understand! If your garden is small, smallish or you just don’t have a great eye to create the feel you want, you can find help in creating your perfect outdoor space with Small Garden Style: A Design Guide for Outdoor Rooms and Containers, by Isa Hendry Eaton and Jennifer Blaise Kramer. You may be thinking that no book can help you achieve your garden goals, but just give this book a shot.
Using an easy, breezy style, Eaton and Kramer create a guide that is fun to read and easy to follow. There’s a style quiz, for example, so you can determine which garden style fits you (turns out I love color and “Color Play” is for me). Once you determine your style, don’t skip over the other styles altogether, as you’ll find great tips for any taste. In each style description, you’ll also find “recipes” with a mix of plants to include in your garden. If a full garden is too much to try, the authors cover container gardening and tips to avoid killing your plants (black thumbs, rejoice!). Sprinkled throughout the book are garden project ideas to spruce up your garden (like converting a regular pot into a firepit), as well as a drink recipe that utilizes edible flowers. There’s a little bit of everything in this book, without it being overwhelming or unfocused.
The real gift contained in this book is that Eaton and Kramer offer practical advice utilized by the pros; real tips that you can act on, not simply an idea that never pans out in real life: “When laying out a new garden, a few line and space tricks direct us where to start and stop and how to connect pathways, patios, and planter beds.” The authors do a fantastic job of including highly technical info that never feels too complicated to implement, like a section on the essentials of visual design. The most important part of a garden is the plants, so the book covers plant selection — “A no-fail small garden is composed of highs and lows (just like real life).” — that starts from the trees all the way to the bottom with groundcover ideas, and even includes pitfalls to avoid.
No matter the size of your current or future garden, or your design style, Small Garden Style achieves the goal of making it easy to create a garden that’s plush, relaxing and perfect just for you.—Patricia L. Garcia