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Plant-Driven Design: Creating Gardens That Honor Plants, Place, and Spirit Hardcover – October 14, 2008
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“As veteran horticulturists and designers, the Ogdens make an argument that is compelling. . . . This book is full of inspiring pictures of garden plant communities: plants for containers, perennials that still look good after the flowers fade, the orchard floored with daffodils, herbaceous foundation plantings. The authors also offer sophisticated plant lists that will have even seasoned gardeners Googling away.” —The Washington Post
“What the opinionated authors think doesn’t work is described as fully as what they like, and they don’t pull punches. . . . The strong point of view makes the book a better read than most of its coffee-table-worthy brethren.” —Landscape Architecture
“Lauren’s photography, alone, will inspire readers to a healthier and more stimulating approach to garden-making, where plants and nature take the lead.” —Pacific Horticulture
“This could be one of the best garden books of the first decade of the 21st century. Combining an ecological approach to plant selection with a strong sense of the aesthetic possibilities of plants, it adds an element that is all too rarely considered—that of how plants and gardens fit into and complement their surrounding landscape, and celebrate regional distinctiveness.” —Gardens Illustrated
“Champions the ‘plant-it-instead-of-pave-it’ point of view better than any book to date.” —American Gardener
“The Ogdens put plants first when designing gardens and have assembled a photo-rich book filled with plant ideas, where they’d best flourish and in what kind of gardens. Their holistic approach embraces people, places, and the natural world.” —Garden Design Online
“Focuses on how to bridge the gap between designers who can’t garden and gardeners who can’t design.” —Washington Gardener
“The first chapter sets out to secure a thought process that puts plants first in any approach to design. It then flows effortlessly into a gallery of gardens and plant portraits interspersed with useful listings of plants for every situation. . . . A great source of inspiration for anyone serious about designing a garden.” —English Garden
“Pushes toward the sensual and involved part of gardening, toward pleasure and intimacy. Gardens ought to be places of change: hourly, daily, seasonally and over years. It’s heartening to see a great big glossy book championing our urges to get out and touch our plants.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Places plants at the heart of the garden instead as afterthoughts of the design.” —Deseret News
“Gives plants room to flourish. . . . Packed with [Lauren Springer Ogden’s] lush photographs.” —Denver Post
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
On the negative side, I am on page 51, and have been struck already with how -- for lack of a better word -- catty they are about other designers and gardens. I am happy to read their ideas for what makes a garden beautiful, but I can do without their references to, for instance, a native plant garden director "piously" sharing her opinions with them (which they obviously didn't share) or statements like "[i]nsensitivity to this plant's spirit is exemplified by a planting along the south side of an east-west path at a prominent botanic garden". I am hoping this attitude will settle down as I progress through the book. It's very jarring to be reading their peaceful, nature-driven, perhaps even dare I say, "hippy-like" writing, and then have them suddenly stop to take a swipe at another designer or garden or gardening theory. Doing that exhibits the same arrogance for which they denigrate others.
I'll update as I continue through the book.
UPDATE: So it's November and I'm only at page 117. I kinda sorta took the spring/summer/fall off to actually go in my garden, instead of reading about them.Read more ›
Readers will not want to sit and read this all at one time - it's a book to return to again and again. The abundance of beautiful photographs and detailed, honest prose provide repose for stressed minds, offer inspiration for new garden concepts, encourage exploration of the natural world, and grant freedom to experience plants as the basis for all garden processes.
On the other hand, Plant Driven Design offers some of the most diverse and creative plant lists ever incorporated into a single gardening book, with hundreds of suggestions of a vast array of species and cultivars for a myriad of sites and conditions. I was especially intrigued with lists of Junipers to Love, Bulbs for Steppe Plantings, Designing with Light, and Matching Climates and Plants.
Gardeners of all flavors will appreciate the depth and breadth that these intelligent and creative gardeners bring forth - science, art, philosophy, travel, romance and nature woven purposefully throughout the pages. This is a book that will change the way you experience gardens forever.
In the chapter, Putting Plants First: "The earthly Edens we create are indeed poetic realms in which we are able to forget our modern-day divorce from the natural world. This renewal of our relationship with nature is the very essence of garden experience."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wish my yard looked like this. Great book with great ideas and photographs.Published 9 months ago by Tess
This book is perfect for people who have acreage. It helps suggest plantings that seem to have happened by themselves and once established would be very low maintenance. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Eileen Phelps
I am definitely a 'magpie' when it comes to obtaining plants. I often buy just one of something that catches my eye. I bring it home, and then wonder where I can squeeze it in. Read morePublished on June 17, 2014 by Kathleen
To my eye, Lauren Springer is a complete genius at creating naturalistic gardens and the pictures of her garden are awe-inspiring . Read morePublished on June 5, 2014 by Catherine McBrien
Excellent rationale for the author's design theory. Great ideas and pictures.! I highly recommend this book as the concepts can be adapted to any part of the country.Published on April 29, 2014 by Sandra Parker
Plant-Driven Design encourages using plants appropriate for a particular location. True sustainability in our gardens comes from using plant material which is indigenous and... Read morePublished on February 1, 2013 by Lucky Lady