George Carter is a well-established British landscape architect and space planner and he also just happens to have a very artistic eye and an ability to communicate to the reader. In this very beautifully designed and presented book, Carter offers strong ideas for every scale of garden. Not only does he demonstrate his ability to plan the grand gardens of mansions, but he also gives equal time and value to creating a small garden out of minimal space. How? Therein lies the magic of this fine book.
Carter encourages the reader to fully evaluate the land to be utilized as yard and garden, how to figure the axis of the property that will best enhance the home's placement on the land, how to take advantage of the natural benefits of that area's horticulture and solid elements, and then presents gardens he has created according to the restrictions (or lack of same) he finds. The book is filled with diagrams but it goes a step further than the usual 'do it yourself' books because of Carter's gift for painting: he not only shows the blueprint but also shows his painted concept of how the blueprint will look in its finished stage. The multiple paintings are a treat unto themselves!
Then Carter incorporates the very fine photography of Marianne Majerus who has combed the countryside finding gardens and the elements of gardens to give the reader actual images of current garden examples. Once the 'garden' is laid out and painted and photographed, Carter, with Majerus, offer superb examples of garden sculptures, fountains, perspective challenges, types of paths, and lighting effects that are not only mesmerizing to survey in Majerus' photographs, but also give countless ideas to the reader as to how to make their garden unique, whether that be by utilizing elements in the land that exist or suggestions of art and fountains and decorative items that are easily obtainable.
'Garden Spaces : Simple Solutions for Planning and Design', then, is more than an instructional book (though that it is in the best sense of the word). This is a book of unique, beautiful and practical gardens, a collection of gardeners' dreams made visible... and feasible! Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, June 06
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About the reviewer
Grady Harp (gradyharp)
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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The most important trick to designing a stunning garden is understanding how to use the space fully and beautifully. With that knowledge, even small urban plots can be subdivided into areas of differing character. Through explanatory photographs, drawings, and easy-to-follow plans, award-winning garden designer George Carter presents an array of imaginative ways to use and fill space that can transform the look of an existing garden or create an entirely new one. Carter shows how to resolve the most commonly found problems and explains how to smoothly coordinate flower and vegetable gardens, play or leisure areas, and storage. Packed with stylish and practical ideas, this is a guide no gardener should be without.