By John Brookes, Random House, 223 pages, hardcover, $18.95
A bestselling author since 1969, John Brookes’ latest offering is an updated version of the 1989 classic The Small Garden, incorporating fresh illustrations, new materials and contemporary ideas for creating outstanding small spaces, including those on balconies and rooftops.
With fewer than 100 pages devoted to plants, the focus here is on design. Chapters on landscaping styles, outdoor living rooms and more inspire readers to tackle their own small garden projects. Brookes’ distinctive design process is clearly demonstrated through photographs and diagrams in the design section.
The book also contains information on enclosures and surfaces—elements that are all too often ignored—as well as furnishings. The planting section lacks hardiness information, but it does include planting plans, tips on colour selection, cultural requirements and interesting site suggestions. Extraordinary photographs, annotated sketches and diagrams, along with Brookes’ charming conversational writing, make this a must for anyone looking to redo their own small space.