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Seaside Gardening

A book by Theodore James

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Gorgeous design and practical advice

  • Nov 5, 2003
Showcasing the gorgeous gardens of Long Island and the rocky coast of central Maine, the book's 120 color photographs show how experienced gardeners have created beautiful designs working with rocky or sandy terrain, harsh sun and wind, salt air and the ever-present danger of devastating storms.

The first half of the book is devoted to design, including "The Water's Edge," "Seaside Landscapes," "Seaside Color," "Pools and Ponds," "Porches, Patios and Decks," "Paths, Fences and Trellises." Informative photo captions identify the plants, giving practical and/or design reason for choices, together with some idea of what the garden will look like at other times of the year.

There are gardens that frame views, give privacy, obscure the intrusive edges of swimming pools. Borders combine perennials, annuals and grasses; windbreaks offer beauty as well as shelter.

Among the Maine gardens pictured is the Thuya garden at Asticou Terraces in Northeast Harbor, a semi-formal herbaceous perennial garden in the style of Gertrude Jekyll which today is a 200-acre park open to the public. Mrs. Thomas Hall's garden in Northeast Harbor on Mt. Desert Island features woodland paths down to the water's edge and an Asian style garden amid outcroppings of rock. There's a lily pond from Bar Harbor and a vegetable garden overlooking the sea at West Point.

The second half of the book includes advice for various seaside terrains and weather conditions, including soil augmentation, pest control, mulching and overwintering and, of course, plant choices. James offers an extensive plant encyclopedic (with some illustrations) for annuals, bulbs, perennials, groundcovers, vines, roses and trees, including concise information about soil and sun requirements.

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Lynn Harnett ()
I love to read, always have, and have been writing reviews for more years than I care to say. Early on, i realized there are more books than there is time to read, so I read only books I like and mostly … more
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About this book


More than a handsome coffee-table book, this latest collaboration from James and Haralambou (Specialty Gardens) offers solid advice, especially for beginners. Lush photographs treat readers to some of the most breathtaking gardens along the Eastern Seaboard as James's detailed captions segue into basics on planning, propagating and planting. Drawing on years of experience gardening on Long Island, James is quite frank about the book's limited focus: the region stretching between southern Canada and North Carolina. Even so, gardeners plying their craft on either coast will find much of interest here. Numerous oceanside challenges are addressed, from erosion control to amending sandy soil; James includes a select but proven list of plants that will thrive under maritime conditions. Both inspiring and instructive, the book offers itself as a perfect gift for those hosts and hostesses generous enough to share their summer retreats on the shore. Garden Book Club alternate.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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ISBN-10: 0810944510
ISBN-13: 978-0810944510
Author: Theodore James
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams

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