Garden Design for the Short Season Yard: Everything You Need to Know for the Chinook and Canadian Prairie Zones

Garden Design for the Short Season Yard: Everything You Need to Know for the Chinook and Canadian Prairie Zones

by Lyndon Penner
Garden Design for the Short Season Yard: Everything You Need to Know for the Chinook and Canadian Prairie Zones

Garden Design for the Short Season Yard: Everything You Need to Know for the Chinook and Canadian Prairie Zones

by Lyndon Penner


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Tired of advice for gorgeous yards that can only be created in climates like California, southern Ontario or Victoria? Author Lyndon Penner wrote Garden Design for the Short Season Yard for you, because he knows prairie gardeners face challenges no one faces in gentler climates.

Anyone can learn the basics of garden design. In this accessible guide, you’ll discover the pros’ secrets: practical ways to transform your yard using basic design principles. You can create an aesthetically pleasing yard that meets your needs, whether you want stunning curb appeal, privacy, low maintenance, or a lush retreat. You’ll develop your eye for design with Lyndon’s short critiques of gardens, both good and bad. You’ll also find worksheets to help you design your own garden.

With his signature style and wit, Lyndon delivers his expert advice for a four-season makeover for your yard.

Topics include:

  • Elements of design, such as scale, balance, texture, colour and repetition.
  • Choosing a theme and a focal point.
  • Weather, diseases and pests.
  • Low-maintenance, water-wise, and shade gardening.
  • Trees, perennials, annuals and permanent garden features.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781550596038
Publisher: Brush Education
Publication date: 03/25/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 256
File size: 133 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Popular radio gardening columnist, horticultural consultant, and professional landscape designer Lyndon Penner has been gardening since the age of three. He appears frequently as a guest speaker at universities, colleges, and gardening associations in western Canada. He is also the author of Native Plants for the Short Season Yard, The Prairie Short Season Yard, and The Chinook Short Season Yard.

Read an Excerpt


Landscape design explores the use of trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals to create pleasing and functional outdoor spaces. Design techniques are the result of good use of suitable plant material for the site, one's own design experience, climate, and personal taste.

That sounds like one of the dusty old horticultural textbooks that sits on my bookshelf. It also sounds tremendously boring if you ask me, but the truth is that landscape design is anything but boring. There is an added dimension of risk and gamble if you live on the Canadian prairie, as I do.

It's all very well and good to know what a peony requires to be happy, or the best way to grow roses, or that carnations make good cut flowers. Facts about plants and flowers can be learned by anyone who has the time and interest, but what do you put that rose next to is often the better question. No plant exists in a vacuum, and yet most of our prairie gardens are random and hodge-podge collections of either plants that happened to be on sale or plants we happen to like, and the resulting gardens are usually colourful but haphazard and incoherent.

In this book, we are going to start by examining some of the practical considerations you'll have to think about to design your garden, and from there we'll move on to inspiration, expectations, and risks. Are you excited yet?

I'll teach you about the bones of the garden and creating a sense of permanence, we'll look at ways to analyze your space (and thus use it wisely), and of course, we'll also have to explore topics such as soil and sun, shade and weather, and all those pesky matters like death and disease and critters that will eat your plants and critters that will hopefully eat, well, the other critters.

By about the middle of the book we'll be looking at trends and fashions in gardening; there will be much ado about trees and shrubs, and I'll even take you through grass and groundcovers. Rocks, focal points, ponds . . . it's all in here! Colour, texture, bark, and berries rounds out the back of the book, followed by some (hopefully very helpful) worksheets that can help you along the way.

A garden is always a journey—ever changing, ever evolving, and never “finished.” Ask any gardener about their yard and they will say, “You should have been here last week when the lilies were in full bloom” or “Come next week when the lilacs are in flower.” Real gardeners are never satisfied. There is always a hunger and a thirst for bigger and better things. I want to help you realize your vision for your garden, and my hope is that with this book, I'll be able to do just that.

Table of Contents

Section I: Practical Considerations
1. Before you begin
2. Building expectations
3. Garden structure
4. Space analysis: What’s there now and how can I use it better?
5. Designing for life
Section II: Design Consideration
6. Design trends
7. Themes: Gardening with purpose
8. Basic elements of design
9. Creating negative space
10. Focal points
11. Colour
12. Beyond the basic elements
Section III: Drafting Your Design
13. Getting started
14. Planning is done: Let’s plant!
Section IV: Developing Your Inner Designer
15. Short critiques
16. Detailed consultation

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