McIndoe, A. 2006. Design and Planting. David and Charles, Newton Abbot. ISBN 0-7153-2306-7.
Softback. 22.5x25cm. 160 pages.
Reviewed by Teresa Leech
The book is split into four main sections which I deal with in turn below.
The Planning Process: Some well-balanced information on all aspects of sites, financial considerations and aesthetics. There are a lot of good ideas and thoughts on the planning of height, structure, impact, drawing the eye and hiding eyesores like sheds, water butts and bins. The book focuses not only on aesthetics but practicalities too, taking to consideration things like how much time you can spend looking after your garden
The book focuses not only on aesthetics but practicalities too, taking to consideration things like how much time you can spend looking after your garden, how much can you afford to spend on it and questions of privacy.
Apart From The Planting: Information is the name of the game here - weed it, seed it, feed it, cut it, prune it (I'm worn out already). Some good pictorial content here and the usual stunning photographs we have come to expect from Hillier Guides
Some good pictorial content here and the usual stunning photographs we have come to expect from Hillier Guides. There are good suggestions for paths, gravel and decking (which in my view totally wrecks the aesthetics of a garden - but that's my personal view!). The water section is my personal favourite having a large pond myself. It contains very clear and accurate information and even a side on drawing to assist you in getting your planting levels right. Alas, the sculptures are beyond most of us unless you have a large garden, but it's nice to dream and imagine - possibly it will get your creative juices flowing.
Planting: Colours, texture, architectural plants, foliage, height, depth, 3D effect - take your pick - it's all here. You can create your own style after reading this section. There is good advice on which colours go with what, including a bit on lighter or darker evergreens and what plants go with them. I myself had a problem with too many light greens and had to add Box, Hollies and Viburums. If I had read this first, I would have got it right first time!
Situations: Slopes, corners, big and little gardens, new gardens and shady ones. This section is all to do with planning to your specific situation, e.g. coastal (wind and salt) and things you need to know before you start digging. It's all about how to get the best out of your garden
It's all about how to get the best out of your
garden. Several good ideas here on containers where no soil is available in corners or courtyards. Also, how to arrange pots to get the best effect and how to improve drainage and bring life to your garden with the use of water.
Did you know maritimus
means 'of the sea' and littoralis
means 'of sea shores'. One of the good things about the Hilliers guides is that when reading them, you think 'I already knew that', but you can't remember how you knew till it's explained to you. I was a bit surprised in these days of biodiversity conservation to find not an ounce of information about designing with wildlife in mind
I was a bit surprised in these days of biodiversity conservation to find not an ounce of information about designing with wildlife in mind (apart from where to put a birdbath!). But, on the humorous side there is a smashing picture of the author on page 46 "Applying a good quality lawn dressing"
by hand on a lawn the size of Wembley! I wonder if he's finished yet? I told you gardening can be fun! Well, do we like it? - yes we do (even though I felt it was aimed at the more experienced gardener). The book is up the to the usual standards we expect of the Hillier Guides. All in all, a very clear and well organised book.