How to - Gardening Basics

A toolkit of garden ideas

Books, websites, software and courses that help you create your dream garden

Useful books
Design in the Plant Collector's Garden: From Chaos to Beauty by Roger Turner, Timber Press, 224 pages, hardcover, $47.50. Good advice from a plantaholic on how to create a well-designed garden.

Encyclopedia of Garden Design and Structure: Ideas and Inspiration for Your Garden by Derek Fell, Firefly Books, 224 pages, hardcover, $35. An essential reference guide that's true to its title.

Gardens by Design by Noel Kingsbury, Timber Press, 224 pages, hardcover, $49.95. Expert advice from leading landscape designers.

Landscape Planning: Practical Techniques for the Home Gardener by Judith Adam, Firefly Books, 224 pages, softcover, $27.95. A blueprint of ideas for landscapes both large and small.

New Country Garden: A Plant Lover's Paradise by Elspeth Thompson, Ryland Peters & Small, 144 pages, softcover, $16.95. Explores the themes and elements of contemporary country gardens.

Outside the Not So Big House: Creating the Landscape of Home by Julie Moir Messervy and Sarah Susanka, Taunton Press, 216 pages, softcover, $49.95 (release date, February 2006). A landscape designer teams up with an architect to present a fresh way of looking at our surroundings.

Small Gardens by John Brookes, DK Publishing, 352 pages, softcover, $27 (release date, February 2006). The latest tome by the acclaimed international garden designer.

The Well-Designed Mixed Garden by Tracy DiSabato-Aust, Timber Press, 460 pages, hardcover, $53.95. Innovative ideas for designing with annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees.

Worthwhile websites
At BBC Gardening, horticultural journalist and media personality Alan Titchmarsh walks you through the basics of creating your ideal garden.

Landscape Guide offers plenty of ideas for tricks and techniques on landscape design.

Tulipworld's Bulb Advisor and Inspire Me! has themed planting layouts that provide creative plans for designing with bulbs and perennials.

Designed by a Master Gardener, the Garden Management System is an all-in-one reference tool, maintenance planner and gardening journal (for PC only), $30.

GrowIt includes computer-aided design software, a plant selection tool and a gardening journal, available on CD (for PC only) or DVD, $198.

Many institutions offer online continuing education and home-study courses on garden design. Here's a sampling:

UBC continuing studies certificate in garden design:

The English Gardening School distance learning program:

As part of a diploma in horticulture, the University of Guelph has three e-courses on the elements of garden design:

Read more in How to and Gardening Basics

  • Page 1: Useful books, websites and courses for beginner gardener

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