Top critical review
12 people found this helpful
Not much use if you want to design your own garden
on 5 December 2014
I'm glad that this was a free download. I picked it up as someone who has recently completed a professional garden design course and I thought it might be interesting to see what the author, apparently a seasoned garden designer, had to say on the subject. The honest answer is that there isn't much here other than the obvious and in some areas there are comments which strike me as well wide of the mark. There is a pretty strong steer in the book towards hiring a designer and very basic pointers for those wishing to design their own garden (no doubt because the author also sells her own online courses and therefore isn't going to pass on much without payment).
If you want to design your own garden or simply can't afford to engage a designer, there are some excellent books which are suitable for DIY designers and which will provide much more information about the process than you will find in this book. Diarmuid Gavin has a good book called 'Design Your Garden' and on a more detailed level, there is Rosemary Alexander's 'The Essential Garden Design Workshop'. These cover a lot of basic design principles and how to deal with problem sites in an accessible way for the DIY designer and will certainly guide you through the design process. You can also google terms like 'long narrow garden' or 'wide shallow garden' an you'll find plenty of images and commentary that will be helpful when trying to draw up a design. It is a shame also that the author didn't highlight that many designers are happy to provide a couple of hours consultation at a reasonable cost which may be enough to provide the home-owner with ideas to take forward themselves.
The tips about hiring a landscaper again pretty much state the obvious, such as go and look at previous work, and that section again is padded with a lot of pretty useless commentary.
Overall, the book seems to me to be nothing more than an extended advert for the author's website courses, her books and other services. If you want to re-design your own garden then you won't find much here to help.