The Q&A Archives: Book on Garden Planning

Question: Last week I asked where I could get a book or other publication/s on how to plan a small container backyard. I have many treesat the back of the yard. I received an answer from you that I would receive an answer in 3 or 4 days. Could I please get an answer? It has been about 6days. Thank you.

Answer: I remember answering your question so I wonder if your e-mail address was correctly entered? My suggestion is a book entitled The Small Garden by Peter McHoy (ISBN 0754801195). The author feels that a small garden space can easily become a relaxing private haven; by using every space from floors to walls, the tiniest of gardens can be transformed into an enchanting oasis. The Small Garden is divided into three sections, each of which will lead readers closer to the completion of a lush small garden.

Garden Planning Made Easy details each stage of garden design, from deciding which plants to choose to preparing the final planting plan. This section is rife with illustrated suggestions for working in unusual spaces as well as drafting basic designs, and each is augmented by a key that identifies specific elements of the design. There are also photographs that demonstrate how to achieve certain elements of each plan, such as building a raised bed or a trellis arbor.

The second section, Designs for Small Gardens, reveals just how versatile a small garden space actually is. It shows readers how to construct a variety of fences, walls, plant build-up borders and stylish supports for climbers. It also offers advice on both how to make a small garden space appear larger and how to plan a beautiful basement.

A patio is often the only space available for a garden, and thus the final section, Patios, Balconies, and Roof Gardens, focuses on how to: select the best material for a patio; choose suitable seating; and position the outdoor dining area. It also includes plans for a chic courtyard, a roof garden, an elegant city garden, and a wild jungle-garden perfect for any small space.

If you have room on your bookshelf for another gardening reference, I highly recommend a copy of Sunset Western Garden Book. Readily available in both garden centers and book stores, it contains a wealth of information on garden establishment and care, plus descriptions of hundreds of plants, plus their growing requirements. There are even sections for special gardening situations such as windy sites, sites near swimming pools, shady sites, rock gardens, etc. It is a really handy reference guide and every garden should have one!

Best wishes with your new landscape!

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