Wednesday, January 27, 2021

New Naturalism: Mastering the Art of Designing and Planting Resilient Home Gardens

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New Naturalism is a tutorial, style, and selection guide to designing and implementing resilient and ecologically responsible gardens utilizing a holistic synergy and interdependence between healthy soil, understanding local conditions and wise choice of plant materials. Due out 16th Feb 2021 from Quarto on their Cool Springs Press imprint, it's 208 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats. 

There is certainly no shortage of gardening advice to be found. I find myself enthusiastically clipping pictures of garden layouts and styles which appeal to me but wind up being completely impractical to implement. This book does an unusually fine job of giving solid information on the interplay of soil, siting, local climate, culture, and plant selection. In choosing plants wisely we allow them to do what they were *built* to do, instead of torturing them into conforming to follow potentially unrealistic expectations of what *we* want them to do. 

This book allows gardeners to take a close look at what sort of garden spaces they have and gives concrete advice on planning those spaces based on that information to allow the chosen plants who are at home in those environments (wet, dry, rocky, sandy, etc) to thrive. 

It's split into two main sections. The first chapters provide a thorough grounding in different types of planting environment and techniques for building robust ecologically diverse garden spaces. The second (larger) part of the book provide "palettes" for different spaces: open landscapes, planting around the outdoor living spaces, using hardscape areas, and shady/dappled areas. Each of the planting sections contains numerous suggestions and tutorials for finding and choosing planting material. 

Plants throughout the book are listed by both common and botanical (Latin) nomenclature for clarity. The book is beautifully photographed throughout with color photos on every page. This is a solidly useful book full of good advice which goes way way beyond the single chapter on xeriscaping offered by most gardening books. 

Five stars. This would be a superlative selection for library acquisition, gardening groups, community gardens, home gardeners and the like. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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