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Plant-Driven Design: Creating Gardens That Honor Plants, Place, and Spirit [Hardcover]

Scott Ogden , Lauren Springer Ogden

Price: £20.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 Sep 2008
For too long, garden design has given pride of place to architecture, artifice, and arbitrary principles. The results? Soulless landscapes where plants play subordinate roles. With passion and eloquence, Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden argue that only when plants are given the respect they deserve does a garden become emotionally resonant. "Plant-Driven Design" shows designers how to work more confidently with plants, and gives gardeners more confidence to design. The Ogdens boldly challenge design orthodoxy and current trends by examining how to marry plantsmanship and design without sacrificing one to the other.Supported by extensive lists of plants adapted to specific purposes and sites, "Plant-Driven Design" explores how plants interact with place. In addition, the authors' experience gardening and designing in a wide variety of climates gives their perspective a unique depth. In ideas, scope, and detail, this book both embraces and transcends regionality. By reclaiming gardens as a home to plants, this groundbreaking work will restore life-affirming vitality to garden design and profoundly affect how we understand and experience gardens.

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Review

Gives plants room to flourish. ... Packed with [Lauren Springer Ogden's] lush photographs. -- Susan Clotfelter Denver Post 20081030 Pushes toward the sensual and involved part of gardening, toward pleasure and intimacy. Gardens ought to be places of change: hourly, daily, seasonally and over years. It's heartening to see a great big glossy book championing our urges to get out and touch our plants. -- Ron Sullivan San Francisco Chronicle 20081104 [A] fascinating book. ... The Ogdens explore how a garden can engage the senses, and seduce and enchant one with a sense of arrival and discovery. Through it all, they aim to help gardeners create gardens that play to their plant's strengths. -- Nancy Schoeffler Hartford Courant 20081114 I devoured this book, and I'm sure I will be rereading portions of it again. Aside from its fresh design ideas, well-written text, and eye-candy photos, the book reminds us of the sensuality of plants, the evocative beauty of a garden, and even why we started gardening. -- Pam Penick Digging 20081201 Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden celebrate a whole new focus of gardening. ... Whether landscaping a Northern cottage garden or a suburban Arts and Crafts bungalow this is a perfect book for gardeners looking for natural garden design inspiration. -- Nancy Szerlag Detroit News 20081206 As veteran horticulturists and designers, the Ogdens make an argument that is compelling. ... This book is full of inspiring pictures of garden plant communities: plants for containers, perennials that still look good after the flowers fade, the orchard floored with daffodils, herbaceous foundation plantings. The authors also offer sophisticated plant lists that will have even seasoned gardeners Googling away. -- Adrian Higgins Washington Post 20081210 A powerful argument for letting the plants lead the design. ... These experienced designers offer a range of suggestions for plant combinations for everything from dry shade to sunny stone walls, hillsides and meadows, woodlands and high chaparral. ... [This book] is meant to be dipped into, savored, consulted for advice and lived with, like an old friend. -- Anne Raver New York Times 20081210 The must-have (old school) garden book of the season. -- Dominique Browning New York Times 20081207 This could be one of the best garden books of the first decade of the 21st century. Combining an ecological approach to plant selection with a strong sense of the aesthetic possibilities of plants, it adds an element that is all too rarely considered - that of how plants and gardens fit into and complement their surrounding landscape, and celebrate regional distinctiveness. -- Noel Kingsbury Gardens Illustrated 20081201 Boldly challenge[s] current design trends by examining how to marry plantsmanship and design without sacrificing one to the other. ... No matter what part of the country you (or the gardener on your gift list) may call home, this book is sure to offer plenty of inspiration. -- Sarah Robertson Albany Democrat-Herald 20081130 An excellent book to add to your library. ... Great advice for gardeners of all levels. -- Honey Milligan Strait Greenwich Time 20081221 Champions the 'plant-it-instead-of-pave-it' point of view better than any book to date. -- Scott Calhoun American Gardener 20090101 The first chapter sets out to secure a thought process that puts plants first in any approach to design. It then flows effortlessly into a gallery of gardens and plant portraits interspersed with useful listings of plants for every situation ... A great source of inspiration for anyone serious about designing a garden. -- David Andrews English Garden 20090101 A treasure trove of photographs and ideas for ecological and glorious home landscaping. -- Pam Locker Evansville Courier and Press 20090614 What the opinionated authors think doesn't work is described as fully as what they like, and they don't pull punches. ... The strong point of view makes the book a better read than most of its coffee-table-worthy brethren. -- Linda McIntyre Landscape Architecture 20090601 The Ogdens put plants first when designing gardens and have assembled a photo-rich book filled with plant ideas, where they'd best flourish and in what kind of gardens. Their holistic approach embraces people, places, and the natural world. GardenDesign.com 20090601 Focuses on how to bridge the gap between designers who can't garden and gardeners who can't design. -- Ursula Sabia Sukinik Washington Gardener 20090301 In ideas, scope, and detail, Plant-Driven Design embraces and transcends regional differences. By reclaiming gardens as a home to plants, this groundbreaking work will restore vitality to garden design and profoundly affect how we experience gardens. Sierra Heritage Magazine 20090301 Places plants at the heart of the garden instead as afterthoughts of the design. -- Larry A. Sagers Deseret News 20081222 A terrific book ... one that is going to be a welcome addition to my library of well-used garden references. -- Ethel Fried Manchester (CT) Journal Inquirer 20090817 Brimming with more than 300 of Lauren's lush photographs, the thought behind this book is that landscapes are emotionally successful only when plants are given the respect they deserve. -- Sarah Robertson Corvallis Gazette-Times 20081130 Lauren's photography, alone, will inspire readers to a healthier and more stimulating approach to garden-making, where plants and nature take the lead. -- Maggie Lee Pacific Horticulture 20090401

About the Author

Garden designers Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden lecture internationally, emphasizing plant diversity and ecological attunement. Their rich plant palette draws its inspiration from their studies of plants in the wild in the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Europe, and South Africa. They have spoken at most major botanic gardens, public gardens, and arboreta in the United States. This husband-and-wife team's horticultural experience spans USDA zones 4-10. They have designed gardens and/or gardened professionally in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming as well as England, Ireland, and Austria. Public projects include gardens at Naples Botanical Garden, Denver Botanic Gardens, Callaway Gardens, and San Antonio Botanical Gardens. Scott and Lauren have written several books in which they pioneer new plants and garden aesthetics. Their latest book, Plant-Driven Design, takes a bold look at garden design from a plant perspective, marrying site, region, plants, and people while both embracing and transcending regionality. Other books include Garden Bulbs for the South (Timber Press 2007), Passionate Gardening (Fulcrum Publishing 2000), The Moonlit Garden (Taylor Publishing 1998), The Undaunted Garden (Fulcrum Publishing 1994), Waterwise Gardening (PrenticeHall 1994), and Gardening Success With Difficult Soils (Taylor Publishing 1992.) The Ogdens and their work have been featured on several television shows and in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Nature, Martha Stewart Living, Sunset, and Horticulture. Awards include two American Horticultural Society book awards and a landscape design award from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Before making horticulture and garden design their life's work, Scott studied geology and paleontology at Yale, and Lauren studied Spanish and Latin American literature at the University of Pennsylvania. She also received a master's degree in horticulture from Penn State. Passionate gardeners, propagators, plant hunters, fossil hounds, and photographers, Scott and Lauren split their time between a small, jam-packed urban garden in Austin and an expansive naturalistic garden in Fort Collins. They have 5 children, and grow well over 3,000 species and selections of plants.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuous book breaks new ground in garden design 9 Dec 2008
By Panayoti Kelaidis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is not just Another Pretty Garden Book, although it is chockablock full of stunning images. Unlike cookie cutter coffee table books with the same plants and same rehashed notions, the Ogdens have filled the text with clear, compelling exposition that really elucidates the ways in to take advantage of the inherent ecological needs of plants to achieve stunning aesthetic ends. This book is utterly new and novel. Everyone talks about design, but the Ogdens deliver the goods: their stellar photography captures the most beautiful North American gardens and crystallizes their salient aspects (microclimate, hardscape, texture and light) showing you how you can recreate many of these artistic habitats in an urban or suburban setting. They have distilled two lifetimes of cutting edge gardening into their copious plant lists and designs--the best new plants used in fresh ways. These speak to all parts of our continent. I am especially excited by the sections on transforming dull lawn space into multidimensional, self sustaining meadows filled with year around color, attracting wildlife and safe for humans! Encyclopaedic in scope, intimate in feel, this is a handbook for creating sustainable, gorgeous, truly American gardens. Every serious gardener, designer or landscape architect in America should own and cherish this book.
82 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars my thoughts as I read this book: plusses and minuses 9 Mar 2009
By hope beverly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
On the plus side, the photos are undeniably beautiful. They have taken care to select the right time of day, the right angle, and the right exposure to really maximize the beauty of the gardens and plants. The paper and printing process enhances their beauty. Many, but not all, of the photos are from their own garden (I don't know how large their space is, but it is obviously larger than my own, and has a natural backdrop that my suburban home could never replicate). I have already learned a few lessons about garden design (daffodils point southeast, so plant them so they'll turn toward the viewing area, for instance).

On the negative side, I am on page 51, and have been struck already with how -- for lack of a better word -- catty they are about other designers and gardens. I am happy to read their ideas for what makes a garden beautiful, but I can do without their references to, for instance, a native plant garden director "piously" sharing her opinions with them (which they obviously didn't share) or statements like "[i]nsensitivity to this plant's spirit is exemplified by a planting along the south side of an east-west path at a prominent botanic garden". I am hoping this attitude will settle down as I progress through the book. It's very jarring to be reading their peaceful, nature-driven, perhaps even dare I say, "hippy-like" writing, and then have them suddenly stop to take a swipe at another designer or garden or gardening theory. Doing that exhibits the same arrogance for which they denigrate others.

I'll update as I continue through the book.

UPDATE: So it's November and I'm only at page 117. I kinda sorta took the spring/summer/fall off to actually go in my garden, instead of reading about them. I must say that I think the cattiness dropped off some, or perhaps just became broader comments, rather than swipes at particular gardens/designers. I am a little disappointed, though, that I haven't learned much more. I guess when I bought the book I was thinking it would be a little more instructional in terms of HOW to make your garden look natural, once you have the right plants. My problem is trying to figure out spacing and doing those "drifts" that are always talked about, but never laid out on a page to clearly see a diagram of how many plants in what section, how far apart from the next plant, how to intersperse different plants so they look like they have naturally drifted into each other. Yes, I know, it's nature, but there's math and patterning in the natural world, too.

The book is a curious mix of broad gardening/nature concepts, interspersed with charts of specific types of plants (eg, "big-and bold-leaved plants"). The charts aren't as helpful as you might think, though, because most are not broken down into zones, light, water needs, etc, so you would have to go through the whole list and google them to find ones that might work in your garden. I did find their insert about Koppen Zones interesting, but my interest was purely academic, because they don't really discuss the zones in the body of the book, or separate out certain comments for certain zones.

So, now that the cooler weather is upon us, I hope to finish up this book soon, if for no other reason than to finish this review so I don't have to think about the "comment" the author saw fit to attach to my review. Talk about spoiling any good vibes... I'll update again when I'm done with the book.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Connecting plants and people through art, science and philosphy 4 Dec 2008
By Pat Hayward - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Gardening books tend to be easily classified - detailed reference books, encyclopedic treatises on individual plants, design how-to, or regionally-specific. Plant Driven Design transcends time, geographic boundaries and spirit. It is a book that evokes thoughtful consideration and compassion for our own backyards and a greater connection with the world at the same time.
Readers will not want to sit and read this all at one time - it's a book to return to again and again. The abundance of beautiful photographs and detailed, honest prose provide repose for stressed minds, offer inspiration for new garden concepts, encourage exploration of the natural world, and grant freedom to experience plants as the basis for all garden processes.
On the other hand, Plant Driven Design offers some of the most diverse and creative plant lists ever incorporated into a single gardening book, with hundreds of suggestions of a vast array of species and cultivars for a myriad of sites and conditions. I was especially intrigued with lists of Junipers to Love, Bulbs for Steppe Plantings, Designing with Light, and Matching Climates and Plants.
Gardeners of all flavors will appreciate the depth and breadth that these intelligent and creative gardeners bring forth - science, art, philosophy, travel, romance and nature woven purposefully throughout the pages. This is a book that will change the way you experience gardens forever.

Favorite quote:
In the chapter, Putting Plants First: "The earthly Edens we create are indeed poetic realms in which we are able to forget our modern-day divorce from the natural world. This renewal of our relationship with nature is the very essence of garden experience."
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plant-driven Gardening 3 Dec 2008
By Doris J. Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book should be required reading for Landscape Architects and anyone else who wants to create beautiful gardens...As usual these two very knowledgeable plants-people have called our attention to putting the right plants in the right places so that one enhances the other. This will certainly become one of the great garden books of this century. With a list of features and plant lists right next to the contents they have made it easy to find specific types of plants...plants with big leaves, columner plants, hardy cycads and much more. Lauren's photos(mostly)and Scot's (occassionaly) light up the book perfectly. Give yourself and your favorite gardeners this book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More from the Queen of Western gardening! 21 Dec 2008
By A reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wow. I got this book a week ago and have been reading every night. It is going to take me a while to read it, let alone digest it!

Honestly, I think the premise of the book is a little contrived. Whether you first have a site and want a plant that conveys a certain atmosphere, or whether you first have a plant and then find the right spot for it - it doesn't make a difference. For both approaches, you have to know a lot about plants, their provenance, and their culture to have a stunning result. But, if Lauren Springer Ogden and Scott Ogden needed a catchy phrase to build their new book around, so be it.

I hadn't read Scott Ogden's other books, but I will definitely read his other titles now.

The book is full of fantastic plant lists, outstanding photographs, and and and. I wonder whether steppe gardens are going to become all the rage now? I hope not. I hope what all gardeners will take home from reading this book is to follow their own design instincts and build the garden of their dreams.
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