Garden Gear - Gardening Books

Book Review: 20 Best Small Gardens

20 Best Small Gardens,
by Tim Newbury; Ward Lock;
softcover; 96 pages;

Gardeners of small patches who think they have to forgo the fountain or veto the vegetable garden can take heart from 20 Best Small Gardens; with forethought and a good plan, several garden styles can work in any space.

The first step in making the most of a small space is deciding on the essentials'for Newbury, these are dining, tool storage and somewhere to hide the garbage cans, since these appear in most plans'then siting the necessary elements in an optimum location. After that, it's a matter of choosing a style and making the best of the remaining space.

The water garden, for example, includes terraced ponds, a trellis, statuary, barbecue, small shed, deck with ample room for a table and chairs, and a list of 50 plants. Not bad for a 30- by 30-foot (nine- by nine-metre) space.

Most of Newbury's plans are formal, with areas for food production, flowers and dining delineated by hedges, trellises and varying paving materials. His examples range from a 26- by 28-foot (eight- by 8.5-metre) lot with foundation plantings and many containers, to a 39- by 46-foot (12- by 14-metre) L-shaped family garden. Site plans plot out the basic elements and bed locations, and a map shows what to plant and where. Very useful are a couple of alternative configurations for each design; you can reproduce the square formal garden to suit a triangular plot, for example.

After perusing the plans, you might find you have a spot for that trellis and room for al fresco dining, after all.
--Christina Selby

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