Book Review: Gardenista

Gardenista, written by Michelle Slatalla. Published 2016 by Artisan.

Gardenista is a catchy name. This self titled book is a physical publication written by the editors of the Gardenista blog, a website all about stylish outdoor spaces. It is a sister site to Remodelista, which has a physical book too.

This photo centric hardback book has some weight to it. It is full of inspirational garden design ideas. The first section of this book is dedicated to showcasing 13 different residential gardens across the United States and United Kingdom (most are in California, London, and New York). All of the gardens are very stylish. They look clean, fresh, and tidy, while still having a little bit of wildness to them.

The photos do a good job of glamorizing the garden beds, hardscaping, structures, and fashionable design details. They certainly inspire me to get out and start tidying up my own garden.

One thing these types of book show me; that garden design is much like the art form of photography. A photo looks best when there’s a focal point, something that leads your eye somewhere. After finding the focal point, your eye then discovers other parts of the photo, just like you would in a garden. This is what makes it interesting.

The rest of the book focuses on topics like using color, how to get more out of your outdoor spaces, and design ideas, but to me the sections all morph together in just a continuation of garden photos.

The last section I wasn’t so excited about. It is a look-book of 100 products Gardenista likes, that you can buy to compliment your garden. Most of these items would fit a high end budget, and aren’t necessarily things that’d fit my space, or I’d want to go out and purchase.

Personally, my budget is reserved for second hand stores, or things I can repurpose or make myself. It just seems like this section could have been eliminated entirely, or dedicated to something else. Though the last little part with a list of resources is useful.

The gardens in this book are really nice. All of them have some type of unique architecture, or professional hardscaping which gives the garden clear defining structure. I’ve always admired the brick walls used in England that serve as backyard fences!

I was surprised of some design ideas that made it into the book. One of them I even have myself! Yes, just like in the book, my very own vegetable garden has a 3′ wire fence held up with green metal stakes surrounding part of it. Not all aspects of a garden have to be top notch. Maybe I should have hope my garden could be showcased on Gardenista one day soon.

While I may never have an arched brick entrance to my garden, I think it’s important when looking at books like this, to know I can still adapt a design layout or style to my own garden.

Gardenista, written by Michelle Slatalla. Published 2016 by Artisan.

Gardenista Book Review

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