Cultivating Garden Style: Inspired Ideas and Practical Advice to Unleash Your Garden Personality

Cultivating Garden Style: Inspired Ideas and Practical Advice to Unleash Your Garden Personality

by Rochelle Greayer


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604694772
Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Pages: 324
Sales rank: 1,218,565
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Rochelle Greayer is the creator of PITH + VIGOR, the co-editor of Leaf Magazine, and a weekly columnist for Apartment Therapy. A graduate of the English Gardening School in London, Greayer designs gardens internationally and earned a coveted medal from the Royal Horticultural Society at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. 

Read an Excerpt

Making a garden should never be less than a deeply fulfilling experience. There is no need to feel overwhelmed by landscaping plans and plant choices; the task can be approached as you might undertake a kitchen update. This book will share ways to create outdoor areas that, like our interior rooms, charm our design sensibilities, are comfortable and appealing to our personal tastes, and reflect our individuality. While I hope you find endless inspiration in these pages, I will also help you understand basic design concepts, garden construction, and plants—what makes them grow and look beautiful together, and why they are important to the nature that surrounds us.

A great garden welcomes you in the same way that a wonderful hotel sweeps you away to another place. The best gardens are adventures, filled with discovery and exploration, and each chapter in this book will take you on a journey through a particular garden style. The image collages share my inspiration and are the process I use to gather ideas for a garden. I suggest you let them form the starting place for layering in the story of your own landscape. The follow-on pages will help you define the special features of your own garden and will guide you through ideas for the plants and beautiful objects that will reside there.

To create a garden that is a perfect reflection of you and whoever else lives in it, you must insert yourself into the experiment. Henry David Thoreau wrote that “it’s not what you look at, it is what you see,” and you must perceive the garden as an opportunity to transcend the ordinary. Don’t be afraid to express yourself and do whatever crazy thing you might have always thought wonderful.

They say that smell is the most powerful sense for drawing us back to a particular place and time, but I think gardens and plants have remarkable time-machine powers. Certain landscapes can take me back to when I was a kid building grasshopper graveyards with little stones in the dirt, counting the shades of green on my grandmother’s Montana ranch, or sniffing nettle (thinking it was mint), only to learn of its painful effects on my nose. These adventures that start with plants are so valuable for us as adults, and even more important to build into our children’s lives so that they mature into people who not only cherish and protect the environment, but are also happy people.

We go outside to grow things, breathe fresh air, regenerate, and relax. Trying to conquer the forces (such as storms and pests) that act against all our best garden intentions is counter to what we seek in nature. It is much wiser to recognize that you are just one part of the design and no matter what your initial vision, the final outcome will never be just as you intended. But if you learn to work as a team with the garden, you will enjoy some wonderful, unanticipated surprises.

I want a garden to live in, one that reflects my character and taste as much as the things I wear and with which I choose to fill my home. But a garden is a specific kind of challenge; it changes and has a life of its own, and that presents challenges in a way that no other design practice does. A garden has to weather, well, the weather. It has no roof or walls—though you can define them if you want—and the confines arguably don’t even stop at the property lines. Stuff lives in a garden; things move and change all on their own, and they create intricate relationships with other things around them (whether you, the garden maker, likes it or not). When you think about a garden’s ecosystem in this way, the practice of garden design starts to resemble some sort of Frankensteinian experiment in evolving beauty. Which is, of course, exactly what it is.

If I achieve one thing with this book, I hope it is to spur you to imagine something more for your garden—to discover the ways in which it can feed your desires and provide an extraordinarily satisfying place for you to live, play, and become rejuvenated.

What People are Saying About This

Ivette Soler

"Cultivating Garden Style releases your inner designer and helps you create a landscape that is yours and yours alone!"

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