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Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces Paperback – February 22, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Dozens of fantastic ideas for creating vertical elements in a wide variety of garden settings.  For anyone who has dreamt about designing a vertical garden, Garden Up is a must read! --Fran Sorin, CBS Radio News Garden Correspondent

...filled with creative ideas for adding dimension to a garden, disguising an eyesore
or taking a neglected part of the landscape and using the space in a new and exciting way. -- Denver Post

In their fabulous new book, Morrison and Sweet share a plethora of tips for home gardeners on how and what to grow vertically in their yards. Filled with dazzling garden photographs that make you want to dash straight out to the nursery. --Huffington Post

Sears had "The Wish Book." Many companies have an "idea book." Garden Up! is both. Authors Sweet and Morrison put their creative brains together and the result is a book that is for every gardener. --Horticulture Magazine

A small to non-existent yard does not mean you are left to languish on a spartan concrete pad. Authors Morrison and Sweet remind readers that there are more gardening options than just the surface beneath your feet. --McClatchy-Tribune

Book Description

Vertical gardening is the hottest new garden design concept. An increasing number of consumers garden in limited spaces, and are searching for help in maximizing gardening space, whether that's an urban terrace, a narrow side yard, or a small intimate area in a landscape. Vertical gardening techniques offer solutions for a wide range of garden challenges, including growing edibles, personalizing a garden with unique focal points and decorative touches or simply hiding unsightly landscape elements. Landscape designers, Susan Lee Morrison and  Rebecca Sweet have filled this book with easy, affordable, inspirational vertical options that will help consumers create beautiful gardens that take advantage of vertical opportunities.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Cool Springs Press (February 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591864925
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591864929
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 91 people found the following review helpful By PlantGrrrrrl on March 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
Disclaimer: I know the authors and I work for the publisher. But I had nothing to do with the creation of the book, and only saw it when it arrived on my doorstep.

I'm a gardening fanatic, but I'm bad at planning and even worse at projects and building. I've been working on my garden for three years now, trying to give it more shape and structure. While reading lots of fancy new books and magazines, I've fallen in love with the "gardening up" concept, but didn't know how to work it into my yard. I have a traditional red brick ranch--not exactly modern. (I know it was considered modern in the 1970s, but we've moved on.) How could I integrate these fabulous finishing touches of contemporary garden design? How could I garden up without gardening in PVC pipes (not really my aesthetic)?

What's great about this book is that there are projects and photographs for every gardening style. If you tend toward traditional (like me), there are lots of projects for you to try. You can garden with the trendsetters without being overly "trendy."

If you're lucky enough to have a house or yard that goes well with "modern," there are lots of projects for you, too.

Layout: One of my complaints about garden books is that I find it incredibly difficult to actually figure out and implement the projects. Projects are crammed in with lots of gorgeous pictures and a bunch of words. While this book has lots of great description and wonderful photos, it is also nicely laid out. Here's the chapter breakdown:

Arbors and Trellises
Skinny Spaces
Garden Secrets
Urban Gardens
Living Walls
Plant Picks
Design Spotlights

My favorite part of each chapter is the "Design spotlight" section.
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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
As a landscape designer, books that solve problems are high on my go-to list.

Ugly old chimneys, vents, air conditioners, or chicken coops? Morrison and Sweet have ample solutions to these and other potential eyesores.
Need to bring height to a garden bed or patio that has no room for width? They show multiple examples and photos of how to make the most of small or skinny spaces.
How to bring interest and beauty to a barren wall? Step-by-step instructions for a number of DIY projects are included, with full-color photos of each step along the way.

They cover trellises and arbors, growing edibles vertically, living walls, screening, small urban spaces, and more. I loved that they included a lot of non-intuitive design tips that you can tell come directly from their years as landscape designers. Even as a designer myself, I picked up a number of exciting new ways of looking at things and tips on using different textures effectively for their effect on space. And their photos and projects have me so inspired. I am definitely going to try making my own living succulent wall and potato tower!

Whether you're looking to maximize your space as an urban gardener, or you have a sprawling lot with more than one "garden secret" you'd like to hide, I highly recommend this book for its beautiful photos and innovative design solutions. While vertical gardening is a hot trend right now, I see this book as being a solidly useful design and idea manual that will grace your shelves for years to come.
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By James M. Schultz on March 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A few years ago I became intrigued with vertical gardening, but every book I found seemed to be written for professionals about major installations. I was looking for a `how-to' written for the average gardener that wanted to try something different because whether we live on a huge hunk of land or an apartment with a balcony... we always have a vertical space that would look so much better with a bit of greenery. "How to go about the process?" and "What materials could I use?" were my big questions.

Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces truly is an amazing book. It is filled with inspiring photographs, practical advice and innovative methods that can be applied to the vertical spaces we all have but don't quite know how to bring to life. If you are like me, you'll soak it all in and then come up with your own ideas. You'll take little bits of this and that, then experiment. Thank you, Susan and Rebecca for giving me the info that I need to create my own vertical garden. I think I'm in love with this book.
Sheila Schultz
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Fern Richardson on March 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is totally the kind of book that you flip through in the bookstore and say "ooh, I want to do that," and "wow, that's so clever!" After saying those sorts of things so many times to yourself, you end up buying a copy for yourself and another for a friend whose birthday is coming up (and whose patio could use some of the tips in the book! ).

Garden Up! is broken down into eight chapters that cover things like design ideas for skinny spaces, solutions for disguising eyesores, how to create a living wall, and plant suggestions for tackling specific vertical gardening projects (to name a few). Sprinkled throughout are charming sketches that explain design concepts, and sidebars that take a closer look at a particular garden's vertical gardening ideas.

Oh, and always important in a gardening book, the photos show all sorts of gardens that you wish were yours, like a fire escape that looks more like an English country garden, and a small patio with shutters that double as a succulent planters.

Love strawberries? You'll definitely want to flip to page 134 and 135 to see the PVC pipe turned strawberry pot, hanging from a wall (it's right next to the DIY upside down tomato planter). I bet it is actually better than traditional strawberry pots at keeping the strawberries well watered because there are no awkward pockets to miss with the watering can.

You'll also find lots of clever trellis/fencing ideas. I loved the re-use of old gates as trellises to soften a cinder block wall. There was another really awesome idea on page 75 to upgrade basic lattice into something really special. What a great way of taking something inexpensive and giving it a high-end upgrade! I think I am going to try something similar the next time I need a trellis.
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