The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage

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Overview

Brandywine Cottage is David Culp's beloved two-acre Pennsylvania garden where he mastered the design technique of layering — interplanting many different species in the same area so that as one plant passes its peak, another takes over. The result is a nonstop parade of color that begins with a tapestry of heirloom daffodils and hellebores in spring and ends with a jewel-like blend of Asian wildflowers at the onset of winter.

The Layered Garden shows you how to recreate Culp's ...

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Overview

Brandywine Cottage is David Culp's beloved two-acre Pennsylvania garden where he mastered the design technique of layering — interplanting many different species in the same area so that as one plant passes its peak, another takes over. The result is a nonstop parade of color that begins with a tapestry of heirloom daffodils and hellebores in spring and ends with a jewel-like blend of Asian wildflowers at the onset of winter.

The Layered Garden shows you how to recreate Culp's majestic display. It starts with a basic lesson in layering — how to choose the correct plants by understanding how they grow and change throughout the seasons, how to design a layered garden, and how to maintain it. To illustrate how layering works, Culp takes you on a personal tour through each part of his celebrated garden: the woodland garden, the perennial border, the kitchen garden, the shrubbery, and the walled garden. The book culminates with a chapter dedicated to signature plants for all four seasons.

As practical as it is inspiring, The Layered Garden will provide you with expert information gleaned from decades of hard work and close observation. If you thought that a four-season garden was beyond your reach, this book will show you how to achieve that elusive, tantalizing goal.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Pennsylvania horticulturalist David Culp has been hailed as a gardener's gardener, his two-acre Brandywine Cottage garden winning praise for its four-season succession of floral displays. His new release The Layered Garden demystifies what seems to be an advanced green-thumb concept. As Culp explains it, layering is easy once one masters the choice of plants and their blooming cycles. With its detailed descriptions and 300+ Rob Cardillo photographs, this handsome hardcover transforms what first seems like an impossible utopian project into a definitely doable dream.

The Patriot-News
"Spellbinding writing and Cardillo’s breathtaking photos entice readers through Culp’s woodland garden. An essential title in the “how I did it” genre of garden writing."
Booklist
“So imaginative is Culp’s genius and so resourceful his passion for plants and design that his layered garden offers more sensory delights per square foot than most gardens manage to achieve over acres.”
Garden Rant - Susan Harris
"I love the book… it teaches us how to design and maintain a complex, layered garden."
A Charlotte Garden
"I love the book… it teaches us how to design and maintain a complex, layered garden."
The Detroit News
'This is one for your must read list...and it would make a wonderful gift for anyone who loves plants and gardens."
McClatchy-Tribune News
"A visual feast of inspiration combined with practical advice on how to put together a garden that shines throughout the year. A great winter read."
The American Gardener
"Culp shares the beauty of Brandywine and some of his garden-design secrets."
NorthernGardener.org
"Offers the perfect blend of inspiration and practical advice. Readers will come away with plenty of ideas and guidance to create their own layered, four-season gardens wherever they live.”
Garden Rant
"A gifted plantsman from Chester County shows us how he turned a neglected 1790 farmhouse on two acres of land into a living lesson on combining plants."
From the Publisher
"Offers the perfect blend of inspiration and practical advice. Readers will come away with plenty of ideas and guidance to create their own layered, four-season gardens wherever they live.”
Library Journal
Readers familiar with Culp through his work in Horticulture magazine or appearances on HGTV will relish this opportunity to learn more about the layering technique he's mastered at his two-acre Brandywine Cottage in Pennsylvania. Culp eloquently explains the design process he used to create his stunning garden, lush with plant combinations that provide a succession of peak garden moments throughout the year in his Zone 6 garden. Spellbinding writing and Carillo's breathtaking photos entice readers through Culp's woodland garden, large perennial border, kitchen garden, shrubbery, and walled garden. Along the way, Culp shares warm childhood memories and modestly relates why a Galanthus bears his name. With the passion of a plant collector and a wordsmith, he ends the book by describing signature plants for all four seasons, recommending some of his favorite gardening books, and sharing his optimistic attitude on beauty. VERDICT In the tradition of classics like Beverly Nichols's Merry Hall, this is a marvelous account of how one gardener created his garden and a sense of place. It's an essential title in the "how I did it" genre of garden writing.—Bonnie Poquette, Whitefish Bay, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604692365
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/16/2012
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 135,963
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Along with his partner, Michael Alderfer, David Culp is the creator of the gardens at Brandywine Cottage in Downington, Pennsylvania. David has been lecturing about gardens nationwide for more than 15 years. His articles have appeared in Country Living, Fine Gardening, Green Scene, and many other publications. He is a contributing editor to Horticulture magazine and served as chairman of the Middle Atlantic Hardy Plant Society.

An expert on herbaceous perennials, David serves as a sales consultant and new plant researcher for Sunny Border Nurseries in Connecticut. He has developed the Brandywine Hybrid strain of hellebores, and was recently cited in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise on snowdrops. The garden at Brandywine Cottage has been featured several times in Martha Stewart Living and on HGTV.

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Customer Reviews

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( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    I loved this book. Well written and beautifully displayed. It

    I loved this book. Well written and beautifully displayed. It gives hope and encouragement to everyone to try to build their own gardens. He teaches us there are not failures just learning experiences to gain from your choices and design. Beautiful story and a pleasure to read about this amazing place.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    Highly recommended for all levels of gardeners!

    I have been a gardner for many years. Because I live in the midwest, most of my gardening is done in the spring and summer. This book has expanded ideas for plants for all four seasons. I have always struggled to incorporate different plants such that I will always have something new blooming. This book has given me so many new ideas and suggestions for new plant groupings. I can't wait to get started.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2013

    Perfect book for cottage gardening

    This book gives easy to follow ideas on how to produce layers of color in your gardens.

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  • Posted January 27, 2013

    Delightful January read

    I read this book cover to cover rather than just looking at the pictures and reading select captions, as I do with many garden books. I found Mr. Culp's enthusiasm to be contagious and I was charmed by his literally down-to-earth description of the evolution of his gardens. The beautiful photos were perfect illustrations of his informative topics. I believe I will use it in the future as a reference on plant layering.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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