Book Review: Garden Design by Heidi Howcroft & Marianne Majerus

Garden Design: A Book of Ideas Book Review

Garden Design by Heidi Howcroft & Marianne Majerus, is a substantial book that qualifies as a coffee table book. The cover caught my eye with its colors and a close up shot of Joe Pye, one of my favorite native plants!

There are six chapters in the book, and each one breaks down garden design into various elements such as: pavers, structure, walls, garden furniture, etc,. There are also a lot of case studies throughout the book, featuring specific gardens that exemplify a certain look or style. It is available hardback or paperback. However, it is a thick book and to me is easier to look through when you can lay the book open as a hardback.

Published in 2015 by Firefly Books Ltd., this book’s photos still feel up to date with current styles. The book is basically full of images, with captions explaining the design element shown in the photo. You could call the book a garden ‘lookbook’.

There is a variety of garden styles depicted throughout- modern, zen, cottage, traditional, and way out there. The photos are high quality and good representations for the information being presented. As I looked through the book, I began to notice there are certain styles and looks that I tend to really like. That means, I should try and replicate some these in my own garden.

Some of the pages will have six images of a garden element, such as a pathway. In this case, each photo shows a different style or pathway material through the garden. On these types of pages, I thought it was fun to pick out which ones I liked best to least.

Many of the gardens in this book obviously had a large budget. Some of the gardens are large spaces probably covering acres of land and requiring a full time staff. However, anyone on any budget with some imagination can begin to feel some inspiration. The purpose of the photos are to set an example of the basic design idea. From there, it’s the imagination that can take that idea and apply it to the design of your own garden.

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