Publishers Weekly Gives Gardentopia a Starred Review!

 Gardentopia: Design Basics for Creating Beautiful Outdoor Spaces

Jan Johnsen. Countryman, $29.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-68268-396-5
Readers with even the slightest interest in beautifying an outdoor space—large or small—should find something of value in this expansive guide from landscape designer Johnsen (The Spirit of Stone: 101 Practical & Creative Stonescaping Ideas for Your Garden). She emphasizes the importance of deciding upon a goal for a garden and visualizing its final appearance before beginning work on it, declaring that the sum of any such project is greater than its parts. Johnsen takes care to dissect these parts, revealing creative possibilities (accompanied by practical guidance) for each nook and cranny. For example, to recover the lost art of “garden strolling,” the design can include a widened, curving walkway that coaxes the stroller through a garden’s various turns and twists. With proper planning and plant placement, the garden will “reveal itself in stages, hiding and offering up its delights in turn.” Cedar steps on a wooded hillside can function similarly, offering an insect-resistant feature that helps set the pace of traversing the garden.
Replete with eye-popping color photos, detailed explanations, lists of the tools required, and creative ideas, Johnsen’s guide will be, for avid and committed gardeners, a gift that keeps on giving. (Apr.)


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