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The Right-Size Flower Garden: Simplify Your Outdoor Space with Smart Design Solutions and Plant Choices Hardcover – February 16, 2015
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"The Right-Size Flower Garden: Simplify Your Outdoor Space with Smart Design Solutions and Plant Choices" (St. Lynn's Press) is a guide for garden enthusiasts and "plantaholics" who find they have more than they can handle in their landscapes. The culprit, typically, is overplanting, choosing the wrong plants ― or simply the advance of time. (Kari Richardson Chicago Tribune)
The pretty pictures we're used to are here in Mendez' book, including befores-and-afters of her own right-sized perennial beds. She also suggests plants for easy care or best use of small space as well as fussy, time-sucking plants to avoid.
But if you're wondering how to simplify and where to begin, Mendez will talk you through it like a kind friend. And that, as La Martha might say, is a good thing. (Helen & Sarah Battersby Toronto Gardens)
The Right-Size Flower Garden by Kerry Ann Mendez (St. Lynn's Press) is liberating. Many of us want gorgeous landscaping, bountiful veggie gardens and yards that make our neighbors jealous. Often we spend an extraordinary amount of time and money to obtain those results. When we fall short, we become disappointed and the yard doesn't look its best. (We have all said, "That used to be a great yard until the new people moved in.")
Mendez suggests admitting you may not have the desire or energy to maintain the garden you think you should have. (Jill Sell Cleveland Plain Dealer)
The Right-size Flower Garden isn't an encyclopedia of plants for a low-maintenance garden. It's a hand-holding workbook that encourages over-gardeners to prune, pluck and otherwise eliminate the most likely culprits that enslave us. (Jean Starr Petal Talk)
The book, "The Right-Size Flower Garden," provides excellent suggestions to simplify the garden by selecting the right plants and using a few smart gardening techniques. (Sue Kittek The Morning Call)
It’s the right idea at the right time for boomers and others who still love to garden – or spend time outdoors – but don’t have the time (or healthy backs) to keep up their former hectic pace. (Debbie Arrington The Sacramento Bee)
About the Author
Kerry Ann Mendez is the owner of Perennially Yours, a landscaping company focusing on the art of low-maintenance perennial gardening. Perennially Yours gardens have been featured in numerous garden and lifestyle magazines, newspapers, radio and television shows. Mendez is the author of The Ultimate Flower Gardener’s Top Ten Lists and Top Ten Lists for Beautiful Shade, and is the founder of the annual Great Gardens and Landscaping Symposiums at the Equinox Resort in Vermont. A busy lecturer and teacher, she gives over 25 workshops and 60-70 talks yearly. She recently hosted 6 national webinars for Horticulture magazine. www.pyours.com.
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1. All - and I mean all - of her primary information is already covered, and better, in more useful books. I recommend Susan Roth's _The Weekend Garden Guide_, which I'm still using, twenty years after I bought it.
2. The breezy tone is forced and began to grate on me quickly. In addition, there's too much information here about her own life, which I'm not seeking in a garden book. Just give me the ideas about the garden and I'm happy.
3. This one wins my award for the most bizarre (and not necessarily labor-saving) gardening ideas ever. Make hydrangea growing easier by going outside at night and spray-painting the blossoms on your lacecaps? Grow catmint instead of lavender, but put lavender-scented dryer sheets under the catmint to simulate the smell of lavender? And what in the world are "brazelberries," something she gushes about in a picture but never explains (not even in the index?)?
4. I'm really put off by product-placement ads embedded in books. (To be fair, Mendez is not the only author who does this.) The glow-in-the-dark plastic planting pots she features (and pictures) are nothing more than advertising for a well-known mail-order firm.
I attended one of her lectures which followed the same topics as in the book but with a two page sheet handout that provide a condensed list of plants for every growing condition in the northeastern United States. She moved not long ago and seeing photos of her new right-sized gardens, which she maintains with only 1-2 hours a month of effort, were nothing short of amazing.