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Showing 1-10 of 87 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 102 reviews
on November 14, 2012
What a beautiful book!
Full of glorious photos and a lovely story of a delightful gardener and his garden to go with it.
The titled made me first buy this American book; as I have always been interested in garden design and how the plants are planted to give a layered effect. The photos by Rob Cardillo, (incidentally he also did the photos for the book on the splendid American garden Chanticleer), are a joy to see and study how the plants associate with each other.
Actually, its a book I find myself referring to a lot over my New Zealand early summer season, nice ideas on every page.
A well recommended read for gardeners all over the world. Most likely be the best book of the decade for me. Enjoy.
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on April 25, 2016
One of the best garden books I have read in the past twenty years! David Culp's approach to gardening starts with the soil and ends at the sky... His layered garden concept is an excellent attempt to recreate, in your own landscape, what Mother Nature has done in the every day world around us... maximizing the impact of your gardening and getting the very most out of every inch of your garden: ground level, herbaceous, shrubs, lower story and upper story levels are all presented with an instructive, clear and conversational tone that is easy to grasp and understand.

This is filled with excellent advice, suggestions and methodology... but more importantly, it's a very fun read.
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on July 8, 2016
I have looked through every page of this book and I will do so many more times. I have read some of the book so far and it certainly shows how much he cares for the land, flowers, environment and his partner, Michael. David seems like a deeply romantic, caring and kind person and Brandywine Cottage seems like a beautiful and magical place. I was encouraged to see that (sometimes) he is okay with the leaves on the plants being just a little chewed up ...since my garden looks chewed up most of the time. I hope to have a future in the landscape/flower garden world of one sort or another - but I am coming at it kind of late in life.

One thing I have noticed in David's book and most of the beautiful gardens books and magazines I have been devouring -- is the language and how to pronounce or even read some of the botanical plant names that are mentioned in almost every paragraph/page -- without constantly using the search bar on my phone/computer -- to even understand what kind of plant he is talking about. And it kind of takes the joy away from reading the book. (So thank goodness for the beautiful photography)

However, I understand that the majority of gardeners do know what he is talking about and appreciate all the botanical names and lingo. Learning the language and classifications are just part of the gardening experience and horticulture journey that I am looking forward to going on….but at this time I still I find myself skipping over the difficult plant names in the book.

I find it very helpful in the magazine “Fine Gardening” that they include a breakdown of the plant names and how to pronounce them. I think this would be helpful in more gardening books/magazines.
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on April 9, 2016
Here is a big bookful of facts and impressions, engagingly presented. It should find a wide audience among gardeners, especially those of the passionate variety—which seems to include so many of us and certainly includes Mr. Culp.

I found the book unsettling at first, though, because the term “layered garden” is mentioned often but never explicitly defined. I Googled “layered garden” and learned that the term refers to the use of a pleasing mix of forms and colors, a mix that may vary considerably throughout the year—the result of choosing plants that bloom and finish up on different schedules—but stays effective. And this is indeed a major theme of the book; there is even a long section on plants that perform during each of the four seasons. But why the static-sounding “layered”—why not the fluid “interwoven” or even “shape-shifting”? Also, “layered,” in a garden, may refer to varying heights of plants, to tiers of plants from ground level to treetops, and in fact Mr. Culp does devote a few pages specifically to that concept. Then I realized, goodness, this is a really good book—as it probably is for most people right from the start—so, forget the perplexing title.

Along with discussions of successive waves of plants there is a generous amount of detail about individual plants and their cultural preferences. The plant choices won’t all suit the far north or the subtropics, but I think many would apply to most places. More importantly, I think that anyone who gardens wherever a rotation of seasons takes place will find information here to relate to and learn from.

This is a gardening memoir of the best sort, useful and inspiring.
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on June 6, 2017
I was excited to get this book based on the title and description, but at the same time, I knew I would look at the pictures for ideas and read some of the specific info on plants. Instead, I read Every Single Word! The photos are beyond beautiful and I have looked at each one repeatedly, but it's the way the author writes that draws you in. I felt like I was having coffee with him while he told me the story of his garden. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in changing their outdoor space, and/or wants more ideas about plants, as there is plenty of info on that as well! Will always be the standard that I compare other books to!
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on June 12, 2017
I bought this book a while ago but it was not until I was stuck on the couch suffering from a summer cold that I cracked it open. I couldn't put it down. The tone of voice was pitch perfect. Plenty of Latin nomenclature to stretch my knowledge but also fluffy commentary to make you feel like you're walking the path with the writer. Well done.
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on April 19, 2014
I read a review of this book in the New York Times, and was so inspired I ordered the book. This is beautifully written and photographed. The author clearly conveys his joy of gardening - you can hear him talking through the page. I found the writing and images so inspiring that I began to look at my garden and think about the plants and arrangements in a whole new way. The book is filled with practical information and tips about how to achieve this beautiful, layered look. This is my favorite garden book, and I have plenty.
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on October 5, 2014
I loved reading this book bit by delicious bit while I sat in the garden and imagined how I would apply the new ideas. I will refer to this book again and again for many years to come. Every gardener should own this. The kindle version is worthwhile but I would really prefer the hard copy. This would be a wonderful gift for any gardener or lover of outdoors.
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on June 26, 2017
This is a wonderful book. There are a lot of great pictures as well as good information.
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on March 21, 2017
Nice ideas in here to try this spring
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