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on 1 January 2012
I have a large collection of books on all aspects of planting, gardening techniques and design theory but this book is outstanding amongst them.

For me, the most useful part of the book are the introductory chapters which are an exposition of a subject which can be something of a black art even to the most experienced of gardeners. The author explains clearly what she means by example and underpins this with sound theory. Straight after I read this book I went out and put her ideas into practice and produced a new bed which looks superb (even in mid winter) and which I know I wont be changing as I often do. I'm currently "editing" all my other borders using the principles from this book resulting in a vast aesthetic improvement throughout my garden.

I've been gardening for over twenty years and I do it for a living and it's not often I find a book this good which elevates my knowlege base and raises the bar by so much. Money well spent, a good source book and a book which will repay re-reading.
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on 4 April 2013
I was very excited when I read the first pages of this book on the 'search inside' feature, so immediately bought it for the design ideas I expected it to contain. The idea of plants grouped into their shapes was very interesting to me, and potentially very helpful in relation to designing my garden. (I am an amateur and need all the help I can get.)
The first chapter is excellent, and lived up to my expectations. From page 39 to 271 there is no further design information. Instead there are descriptions of plants. A chapter is devoted to each of the 'shape' categories: horizontals and tiers, verticals and diagonals, arcs and fountains, clumps and mounds, clouds and transparents. There are lovely pictures and descriptions of each plant - I suppose they are useful in themselves, but I have loads of books which describe the features of plants. I was looking for a book about designing with plants, combining the groups, proportions of each in relation to the other, etc.. Perhaps I need my hand held but I expected more from a book described as a 'Plant Design Sourcebook' than one chapter on design. There is also no indication from the 'search inside' feature that the brilliant design information will stop after chapter one.
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on 23 May 2010
An excellent plant source book, covers America as well as Europe. Broken down into Architectural features of the plants, so ideal for finding plants for your design.
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on 11 February 2011
I love this book. Lin has a great gift for describing plants as well as huge knowledge. The beginning of the book sets up the design process in a way that I find inspiring (Leonardo and divine proportions etc) and then the way she categorises the plants, as well as the selection, is appealing and invaluable.
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on 25 July 2015
This is still the best book out there for planting design - bar none! I am a garden designer and have many books on planting design and none of them are as useful as this. It isn't an exhaustive list of plants, no but what it does do is to explain what different plant shapes do to the viewer, what feel is created. It goes on to explain how those shapes best work in combination with each other. I have quite a few garden design books this is in my top three. This book armed with your plant encyclopaedias divided into sections (not A-Z) make for a formidable partnership for your winning planting plans. Johnny The Green Lounge
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on 8 June 2012
I gave this book to my daughter who is doing a garden design course. She looked at it briefly and said that it ticked all the boxes, no other book gives plant profiles in this way. The pictures are good too.
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on 19 January 2016
My husband bought this book for me at Christmas. It is a beautiful book with lots of illustrations and lots of information. It will be a great help to me when the weather warms up and I can get out into the garden to reorganize it.
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on 11 February 2013
I am revamping a border this year and will be using this is a valuable source of reference for the planting. It's broken up into sections on various layers of planting, ie horizontals, verticals and tiers for example. Brilliant!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 June 2015
I was rather disappointed by this book - I was expecting more on the principles of design than this book contains. The subtitle is 'A Plant Design Sourcebook' and I placed more emphasis on the plant design aspect than the sourcebook. There is an opening chapter covering the issue of design but thereafter the book is mainly a compendium of plants (a sourcebook, I suppose) divided into categories such as verticals, horizontals and arcs. To be honest I have plenty of plant books - many rather better than this one which doesn't include information about, for example, the height of plants which is surely essential when designing a planting scheme. I would have been more interested in the design aspects and plant combinations. The plant compendium entries don't highlight potential plant partners either.

I have a lot of gardening books, including the RHS plant encyclopaedias, so for me this book doesn't add much to what I already have. If you are interested in planting design in the private garden then you might want to try 'Designing and Planting Borders' by Roger Harvey, Carol Smith's 'Designing Gardens with Plant Shapes' or 'Planting Design Essentials' by Jill Anderson & Pamela Johnson.
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on 9 November 2015
Good colour photographs. Extremely useful book for a design attempt on my garden ! Would use this seller again.
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