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The New Low-Maintenance Garden: How to Have a Beautiful, Productive Garden and the Time to Enjoy It Paperback – November 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press; 1 edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604691662
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604691665
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A garden can be a consuming passion—at least until you feel it consuming you. When Val Easton found herself in that spot, she knew it was time to move on, this time to a gem of a low-maintenance garden she made for herself. It kept her passion for gardening alive and spawned a terrific book, The New Low-Maintenance Garden."
(Sunset's "Fresh Dirt" blog)

"[Easton's premise] will be embraced by gardeners facing the limitations of an aging body or the time constraints of a busy career; by gardeners who want an inviting place to enjoy being outdoors; and, not least, by designers who are asked by nearly every client for a low-maintenance garden."
(Digging blog)

"You look and say 'I want this,' realizing that your desire has everything to do with the sanctuary garden that Easton is calling you back to. Low maintenance is just the part of the equation that gives you the time to enjoy the sanctuary you create."
(Sunset's "Fresh Dirt" blog)

"This book is an invaluable addition to the garden library – destined to be a classic for many years to come."
(Garden Design Online)

“[This book] shows authentic beauty achievable by regular folks like you and me, as opposed to gardening super-heroes who spend every waking moment plucking dead blades out of their chive plants.”
(Life on the Balcony blog)

“This [is a] handy guide to a garden you can raise without a corresponding increase in your blood pressure … handsome and informative.”
(Metropolitan Home)

"A well-informed and useful guide that … will appeal to gardeners all over the country. Recommended."

(Library Journal)

“Easton shows us how to garden reasonably without feeling overwhelmed. [This book] is a long overdue cry for gardening sanity, with guidelines for restoring balance to our lives.”
(Portland Tribune)

“Over the years, countless books have espoused a low-maintenance approach to gardening. None have been as engaging, practical, or inspiring as this latest of Easton’s contributions to the gardener’s bookshelf.”
(Pacific Horticulture)

"If you're looking for photographic inspiration, key tips for garden victory, additional books and resources, or success stories from other gardeners, you'll find it all in this well-written, easy-to-navigate guide."

 

(Sacramento Book Review)

"If you’d like a beautiful garden but find yourself on the treadmill called life, this book just might help you understand it’s doable…this book provides inspiration while steering readers away from traditional elaborate perennial borders, water-hogging and disease prone plants, high-maintenance lawns, and time consuming plants that require deadheading, pruning, and constant care."

About the Author

Valerie Easton is a weekly garden columnist for Pacific Northwest Magazine of The Seattle Times. Her own low-maintenance garden, the muse for this book, has been published in The New York Times, This Old House, and Horticulture. She has contributed articles on gardens, homes, and the people who make them to a variety of magazines, including Metropolitan Home, Fine Gardening, and Gardens Illustrated. Valerie trained as a Master Gardener and was for eighteen years the horticultural librarian at the University of Washington in Seattle. She gardens, teaches yoga, and blogs (www.valeaston.com) in the village of Langley, on Whidbey Island, Washington. Her previous book is A Pattern Garden (www.apatterngarden.com).



Jacqueline Knox trained at the leeds school of Physiotherapy and has a Postgraduate diploma in Manipulative therapy. She runs her own physiotherapy clinic, lectures on spinal problems and is physiotherapist to the British rowing team who won a gold medal at the Athens olympics. She co-wrote the Official Body Control Pilates Manual and was medical consultant on the book Pilates Pregnancy Guide.


Photographer and journalist Jacqueline M. Koch’s assignments have taken her from the Pacific Northwest to the South Pacific, Africa, and Europe. Her portfolio includes gardens and landscape design as well as coverage of world events, and her work has appeared in Pacific Northwest Magazine of The Seattle Times as well as in Garden Design, Time, Newsweek, and The Washington Post. She is also creating a low-maintenance garden of her own for her new home. Her Web site is www.jmkoch.com.


More About the Author

Valerie Easton hasn't missed a week writing her weekly gardening column for the Seattle Times in 15 years. Her newest book is about how to make simple, naturalistic and organic bouquets from your garden that are the antithesis of overworked, overdone flower arrangements that are more about decorating than nature. She's written four earlier books; the most recent, The New Low-Maintenance Garden, was named one of the Ten Best Home and Garden Books of 2009 by Amazon.

Val's own low-maintenance garden, the muse for the book, has been published in The New York Times, This Old House, and Horticulture. She has contributed articles on gardens, homes, and the people who make them to a variety of magazines, including Metropolitan Home, Fine Gardening, and Gardens Illustrated. Valerie trained as a Master Gardener and was for eighteen years the horticultural librarian at the University of Washington in Seattle. She gardens, teaches yoga, and blogs (www.valeaston.com) in the village of Langley, on Whidbey Island, Washington.

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Customer Reviews

This book has lots of good ideas, photos, plant lists and tips to help.
treehugger22
If you figure out that for your design you need a 4 foot tall, narrow plant along your path, find out what plant with that shape grows well where you live!
Suzanne P. Thomas
Overall, this book provides a whole new philosophy for gardening that will guide you in designing (or re-designing) your outdoor spaces.
Gen of North Coast Gardening

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Jess R. on April 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently moved to a house with a giant yard. Beyond planting a few annuals every year and growing container vegetables, I have very little gardening experience, so I hoped this book would provide some good ideas about how to start transforming my featureless expanse of grass into something that looked pretty good without too much continuous effort on my part.

Unfortunately, this book wasn't really helpful to me. Right from the introduction, the author assumes her audience are people who have previously spent way too much time intensively planting and maintaining formal gardens. She urges the reader to perhaps relax a little and let the lettuce bolt, and casually mentions things like sedums and sedges. Having no idea what bolting, sedums, or sedges were, the advice left me feeling overwhelmed, but I imagine that a more experienced gardener might benefit from the ideas in the book. At least there was a nice list of suggested low-maintenance plants in the back... but no pictures of them!

There were some contradictions, as well: in the first few pages, it clearly stated that "cottage gardens" were outdated, and yet many of the examples appeared to be (and were even described as) exactly cottage gardens. Also, parts of the book stress using drought-tolerant native plants, while showing gardens that are dependent on irrigation systems.

Basically, the book features a lot of beautiful, mature, complete gardens planted by professional designers. Gorgeous to look at, but didn't really give a good idea of where to start transforming my own yard. It also tended to focus on making the most of small spaces, which wasn't really helpful in my situation.
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Format: Paperback
You'd think that a landscape designer who also does landscape maintenance would be dismissive of the whole low-maintenance gardening thing. After all, there's a negative impression of low-maintenance gardens as being dull, static, lifeless places devoid of wildlife or any personal character.

But there is a balance in a well-designed garden between hardscape (the patios, walkways, raised beds, and other permanent structures), the shrubs and trees that require little care beyond formative pruning and appropriate watering, and the flowers, grasses, veggies and bulbs that invite your personality to shine yet do require more care to keep up.

Finding that perfect balance is what this book is all about, so when Timber Press sent me a copy to review, I was excited to dig in. This book is an inspiring manifesto that introduces you to gardeners who have found that balance between caring for their garden, and having time to just enjoy their garden.

It's not about skipping out on maintenance altogether, because many of the gardens featured have flowering plants, veggies and container gardens that do require care.

It is about figuring out what really touches your soul in a garden, and thinking carefully about how to edit your "must-haves" down to a few key elements. The end result is a garden that feels lush and bold, yet requires less time to care for and focuses your attention only on the more enjoyable tasks in gardening.

Some of her advice for creating the new style of low-maintenance garden:

* Keep it small: a small garden requires less time and resources to care for.
* Most of the garden is not actually planted in the ground, to avoid weeding.
Read more ›
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful By treehugger22 on November 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have a large, intensely gardened yard and have been looking for ideas of how to landscape the parts of the yard that I haven't yet gotten to in a way that would be lower maintenance. This book has lots of good ideas, photos, plant lists and tips to help. Highly recommended!
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Northwest teacher on June 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
I turned to this book for some help with my giant garden, but found froufy fancy gardens in the elites' back yards. Crushed ceramic pottery for a paving material? The reason I need low maintenance is in part because I don't have minions around to work on every detail. I certainly don't have the bucks to install most of her suggestions. I suppose the pictures are fun to look at, but in this economy and this lifetime, I won't be hiring the required crew for implementing these ideas.
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55 of 66 people found the following review helpful By A. Brislen on February 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will be useful in a LIBRARY of garden books for a new gardener. I found the writing too atmospheric and am reminded of someone filling space with lots of words to cover up the lack of concrete facts. Design is emphasized as vital with little advice on how to modify an existing garden, system and infrastrure to be lower maintenance. The book is inconsistent, for instance, it recomends "earth friendliness" on one page and then discusses a garden in which every inch is watered by sprinklers (in Seattle) and which can be maintained easily with a leaf blower. One garden's walls are variously described as stucco and adobe on the same page leading me to suspect sloppy editing of a thrown together book. The author prominentely features not only her own but her daughter's garden, which I found unremarkable. I wonder about the author's credentials as a professional when she hired someone else to design her own garden. The book emphasizes the use of experts without offering advice for DIY design and does not contain a single site plan, which would anchor the nebulous text and lovely but uninformative photos. The bottom line is that I found the book boring. Rodale's Low-Maintenance Landscaping is more useful to begineers and experienced gardens alike.
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