This book was for me a turning-point, and I will never look at gardening the same way again. Susan really made me think of all four seasons when designing gardens, starting with "the bones." What are garden bones? They are the framework around which the garden is designed – what makes the garden "as inviting in January as in June." This was for me a revelation, as I had for years just focused on summer color. But color and interest is possible during the winter, too, and I don’t mean just evergreen shrubs. I spent that winter devouring this book, and by spring, I had a plan!
This book is divided into four seasons, beginning with winter. This is important, because it is in winter that the bare bones are showing, and this placement emphasizes the significance of this season in the planning stage. Trees, shrubs, ground-covers, and yes, even winter flowers are explained in detail. This is repeated for each season, with long lists of plants that are attractive at that time, and the most exquisite photos! Following the seasons is a chapter dedicated to design, emphasizing not just color but texture, form, balance, and weight. She ends with a detailed encyclopedia of plants, listing how they look in each season.
I can’t say enough about this book. It’s not that I’d never thought of garden structure before, but the layout of this book makes everything so clear. The following spring I put many of the "bones" in place, and this past winter when I stepped outside I always smiled, and though it was cold, my heart was warm. Because I had beauty.
You must have this book in your collection, and use it! Even if your property has been or will be professionally landscaped, having this book prevents your yard from being like all the other landscaped yards, because you will be able to choose some unique features for your home. You will be amazed at how your gardens can really be stunning all year long, when you put into practice the advice she gives. Please be sure to post a comment after you use this treasure of a book!