Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Yards: Turn Any Outdoor Space into the Garden of Your Dreams Hardcover – March 1, 2013
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
--Amy Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Plants and The Drunken Botanist
Billy Goodnick: Landscape architect, master educator, brilliant humorist. Earmark some space in your bookcase for this writer - you'll want all his future books! -Shirley Bovshow, TV producer and host
There really is no one else like Billy, who combines solid horticultural and design knowledge with wit, humor and a natural ability to write well. -Debra Lee Baldwin, garden photojournalist and author of Designing with Succulents and Succulent Container Gardens
There are times when Billy Goodnick's design advice makes me laugh out lout - how often can you say that about a gardening book? Smart and sassy, Billy is entirely successful as an educator who also entertains... guaranteed to change the way you think about your own backyard. -Debra Prinzing, author of Slow Flowers and co-creator of The 50 Mile Bouquet
It's about time Billy put his considerable expertise and irreverent voice into a book everyone can benefit from. Funny, blunt and insightful - his is a rare and refreshing voice in the world of garden writing. - Steve Aitken, editor, Fine Gardening Magazine
Billy is the expert you want in your corner if you've got a yard that needs help. His unique talent is designing sustainable, low-maintenance gardens that are beautiful as well as highly livable... and showing how anyone can do it too. -Joe Lamp'l, host and executive producer of "Growing a Greener World"
From the Back Cover
Award-winning landscape architect Billy Goodnick is here to help you plan the perfect outdoor environment, unique to your family's lifestyle. Yards is brimming with design secrets and money-saving tips, with an emphasis on low maintenance, enjoyability, and just plain beauty.
"Billy Goodnick delivers the most laid-back, user-friendly and entertaining garden advice you'll ever read. Invite him into your backyard - now!"
-Amy Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Plants
Top Customer Reviews
Work? Yes, as Goodnick says straight up in the introduction, "A good yard doesn't just happen. You've got to work for it...The work I'm talking about starts between your ears." His exercises show that it can take a lot of thinking to really get to know your yard and yourself -- and to narrow the options for your design. Under his laid-back, joking persona, he's surprisingly methodical, leading you step-by-step through the thought processes and creative exercises that yield a design that's not only beautiful but well suited to the way you live.
For readers who don't want to do the exercises (you know who you are!) but prefer to just glean inspiration from pretty pictures, Yards offers that too. However, most of the images are tighter views of design or planting details. The real meat of the book is truly in working through the design process that Goodnick lays out.
His design advice is spot-on and will get you from that nebulous, anxious feeling of "where do I start?" to a plan of action with regard to your yard. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, Yards will help you figure out what you want to do and get going on it. If you're more inclined to hire a designer, Yards will help you settle on specific ideas that you can then share with your designer.
In between Chapters 1 and 15 are 13 other chapters that discuss and explain things that will help you design a garden suited to your lifestyle. Billy's instructions on garden design are clear and easy to understand. It doesn't matter that Billy hails from southern California and does most of his garden design work there, this book is relevant to designing a garden no matter where you live.
"Yards" has plenty of photographs that can aid the gardener who wants to "lay it all out" on paper beforehand. "Bubbling with options" is Billy's method of diagramming that can help show you where certain features may or may not fit in the landscape. Drawing circles, squiggly lines, double-headed arrows and asterisks are the four "tools" Billy recommends when you're brainstorming your design ideas, these fundamental shapes are used in the diagram to signify trees, shrubs and other design elements. Billy explains the basic principles of designing with color and offers weighty advice on using the primary colors to balance the look of a new garden.
Lawn lovers might be a tad put off with Billy's appendix "Murder Your Lawn" but as a homeowner with a big yard I was not offended. Billy's intentions are honorable and if you want less lawn, Billy's book can help you become grass-less and might even make you decide to turn your yard "into the garden of your dreams."
Now the rest of the world gets in on our best-kept secret.
I first met Billy 20 years ago when I took one of his landscaping classes. Billy is the best thing I ever did for my yard. I have continued to follow Billy on Facebook and through his various garden writings in various media. I always learn something.
His new book Yards is well-written, the photos helpful, and the information easy to understand and implement. Creating sustainable outdoor living space is his specialty, which is what his book is all about. He helps us make our plain old yard into a wonderful living space.
My favorite little piece of the book, however, might just be toward the end, in the chapter "Crimes Against Horticulture: When Bad Taste Meets Power Tools." You'll never be able to look at another ugly yard without turning over in your mind how you would do it differently. And maybe that's the best part about Billy and his book Yards: It makes you want to think about your yard and the possibilities. Plus, knowing what not to do is as important as knowing what should be done.
We can't all be landscape architects. But because Billy is, we all benefit.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm a landscape artist, and a Horticulturist..with 40 years =, as an artist.