Book Review: The Well-Designed Mixed Garden, by Tracy DiSabato-Aust

The Well-Designed Mixed Garden, by Traci DiSabato-Aust, Timber Press, 2003. A beautiful garden is in the eye of the gardener, or in the case of garden designers, the eye of the client. That’s what makes the subject of Tracy DiSabato-Aust’s very valuable book, The Well-Designed Mixed Garden, so challenging. She meets the challenge ably, I …

Book Review – Farm City: the Education of an Urban Farmer, by Novella Carpenter

This book is a fantastic read: funny, thoughtful, unpredictable, and engrossing. It is the author’s tale of urban farming on what started as a garbage-strewn lot (a lot she did not own) in inner-city Oakland, California. I read through the 267 pages not in a single sitting, but close to it. Carpenter and her boyfriend …

Book Review: Home Ground, by Allen Lacy

I fear that garden writer Allen Lacy is simply no longer read as often as he should be. Lacy was a native Texan, a philosophy professor who gardened and wrote on the side. Living in southern New Jersey for most of his career, he was a garden columnist at the Wall Street Journal for five …

Book Review: The Well-Tended Perennial Garden, by Tracy DiSabato-Aust

If perennial flowers are the backbone of your garden, as they are of mine, you may occasionally feel the need for an orthopedist. Keeping perennial flowers blooming, attractive, upright, adequately contained, and the right size and shape is an ongoing challenge. Experience and occasional expert advice are necessary to meet that challenge with reasonably consistent …

Book Review: On Gardening, by Henry Mitchell

Once upon a time newspapers had garden writers. Such a one was Henry Mitchell, who wrote a gardening column for the Washington Post from 1973 to 1991. Mitchell was an avid gardener, but he started writing about gardens only in the latter part of his career in journalism. His love of both gardens and the …

Book Review: Designing with Plants, by Piet Oudolf with Noel Kingsbury

This is a book that should be read slowly. The writing is certainly clear and accessible, but the text is dense with thought-provoking insights on garden design. The insights are illustrated with ¬†gorgeous photographs that merit close study. Designing with Plants is more of a meditation on garden design, rather than a how-to book. But …

Book Review: Painting with Flowers

Monet at Giverny, by Caroline Holmes; Cassel and Co., 2001. Monet’s Passion: Ideas, Inspiration, and Insights from the Painter’s Gardens,by Elizabeth Murray; Pomegranate Communications, 2010. Some of you know that Judy and I were lucky enough to visit Monet’s garden at Giverny in April of this year. Despite the clouds and chill, we were completely …