Classic Garden Plans

Classic Garden Plans

Book - 2004
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Workman Press.
For any gardener who is unsure of what to grow or how to put plants together in coherent planting schemes, this book provides answers. Many of the garden plans and plantings included are simplified versions of those created by great gardeners such as Vita Sackville-West, Margery Fish, and Piet Oudolf. The author's extensive knowledge of period plants, and how they were put together to look beautiful, has enabled him to re-create historical classics, like the Renaissance parterre or the Monet water garden, from contemporary planting lists and plans. Each garden is given a brief historical context, and its best qualities, seasons, and times of day are explained. Planting plans are given for each scheme, together with a shopping list that can be taken to a nursery. The book includes suggestions for adapting each plan to the limitations of a given space, and how to adapt the shopping list as well. Classic Garden Plans will be invaluable to any gardener who wants to design a garden with powerful historical associations, filled with authentic plants.

If you are unsure of what to grow or how to put a garden together in coherent planting schemes, this book is for you. Plans are given for each design, together with a plant list.

Book News
The author of Classic Plant Combinations and The Plants that Shaped our Gardens introduces 16 classically-inspired garden plans scaled for smaller home gardens. They range from Oriental meditation gardens and Monet's water garden at Giverny, to a "Gone with the wind" Southern garden and Frank Lloyd Wright desert garden. The chapter on each includes historical context, color plans and photos, and a flexible plant shopping list. Stuart owns a nursery in Scotland specializing in heirloom plants. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Blackwell North Amer
This book offers a store of garden plans inspired by some of the most bewitching and famous gardens in the world, ranging from the borders of Gertrude Jekyll with their painterly drifts of colour to Frank Lloyd Wright's abstract patterns and pure lines. All can be realized in the smallest of spaces, all are practical to maintain, yet all are woven from the dreams of great garden-makers.
David Stuart looks at the history and inspiration behind designs created by influential gardeners such as Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst, Lawrence Johnston at Hidcote, Rosemary Verey at Barnsley House and Piet Oudolf at Hummelo, then provides contemporary adaptations of their gardens. His extensive knowledge of period plants and their use in gardens of the past enables him to include historical classics such as a seventeenth-century baroque parterre at Het Loo and a meditation garden created in sixteenth-century Japan.
Although many of the original designs are quite grand, David Stuart has focused on elements that can be used to make lovely gardens on a much smaller scale. Each design is a recipe that garden owners can easily follow or adapt for their own space. Clear planting plans, instructions on building, laying out, planting and caring for the garden, and a 'shopping list' of suitable plants show you how.

Publisher: Portland, OR : Timber Press, 2004
Edition: 1st Frances Lincoln ed
ISBN: 9780881926439
Characteristics: 160 p. : col. ill. ; 28 cm


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Mar 15, 2014

This book was quite good. The garden plan descriptions in the book focused on 'replicating' each different garden in a space the size of an average suburban backyard. It had different chapters on different gardens around the world: Scholar's Garden in China, Meditation Garden in Japan, Gertrude Jekyll's garden, Frank Lloyd Wright's garden ideas with his architecture, Monet's garden...there were others. Each chapter gave a contextual history of the garden with a description of the gardener and their goals. Each chapter would then go into the plants characteristic to the type of garden, the infrastructure needed, and the layout. An enumerated list of plants is given with each garden plan.
There were three things that I really liked about this book. One, the author states in the introduction that if you can't find the specific plant listed, find another that serves the same purposes. The second is that he lists everything in Linnaean form, which, if you don't know a Prunus cerasus from a Prunus laurocerasus, might be a bit annoying. The third? I like that the author doesn't beat around the bush when it comes to making good gardening soil. It takes several years, a fact that he embraces.
I'd guess that this book would be most helpful for people that need gardening inspiration and are willing to take the time to learn and to build good soil, and maybe to hire a landscaper; and for people that have a slightly-higher-than-master-gardener botanical education.


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