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Designing Borders Hardcover – May 1, 2003
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Throwing down the gardening gauntlet to six of his fellow designers, Kingsbury gathered some of the horticultural world's most respected voices, asking them to let their creative hearts and imaginations run wild by developing four original garden designs, not for any specific client, but for the sole purpose of illustrating how experts overcome the same design challenges and solve the same practical problems any gardener can face. From sunny meadows to shady glens, each fully-developed plan is accompanied by detailed layouts, plant profiles, material lists, and useful inside information on care and maintenance. Tantalizing photographs and 3-D illustrations further aid gardeners in visualizing and defining their goals. Kingsbury examines essential subjects such as lighting, soil, and siting; evaluates aesthetic criteria, then thoughtfully cross-references the contributing designers who address these issues in detail. The result is a distinctive resource of exquisite ideas that provides the inspirational spark and reassuring advice required to create spectacular gardens. Carol Haggas
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Whilst appearing deceptively simple, herbaceous and mixed borders are usually the opposite. Consideration has to be given for seasonal interest, height and spread, colour coordination, aspect, soil type and more. The bones of any border is good design which is where this book ably assists. Acclaimed garden writer, plantsman and designer, Noel Kingsbury, has collaborated with seven of today's top garden designers and asked them to design four borders each. The result is a reflection of each designer's taste and style, ensuring something of value for every gardener be it classical or contemporary. Superbly illustrated, the drawn planting plans span shady, tropical, dry, natural borders and more, highlighting the designers' particular skills. For anyone planning a new border or revamping an old one, there is something inspirational to be taken from each. An innovative idea, admirably presented, showcasing the talents of these top garden designers to perfection. - Lucy Watson
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The book contains twenty-four original border designs by the accomplished John Brookes, Rupert Golby, Penelope Hobhouse, Noel Kingsbury, Piet Oudolf and Sandra and Nori Pope. Each one brings a unique and fresh vision of borders that expanded my imagination enormously. The photographs by Mark Bolton make this book a treasure to have.
The designs begin with a rough sketch or the sort that even I could create. That eased my tension quite a lot. I once had a series of borders designed and the plans were exceptionally detailed and complex. Not being a draftsman, I had felt intimidated ever since about what could be accomplished. The photographs assume that many readers (and certainly including me) will not know what many of the plants are so you see examples to give you a feel of the appearance and shape of these plants. The designs make use of plants that I would never have considered including many foliage plants and colorful vegetables. It's inspiring. There's a good discussion of the conditions needed for each design and when blooms will occur and what colors will be available.
But the book goes beyond designing and helps you understand how to prepare and maintain your borders. There are excellent planting directions for how thickly to place the plants.
If you only read one book on borders, this one is a fine choice!