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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.
37 people found this helpful
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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 3 April 2017
Good format. Informative and easy to read.
One person found this helpful
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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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on 1 December 2017
Great book for the aspiring and experienced designer alike.
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on 29 August 2017
Down to earth, packed with practical information.
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on 30 August 2014
Great book arrived promptly, thanks!
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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.
5 people found this helpful
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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.
23 people found this helpful
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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.
15 people found this helpful
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