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Handmade Garden Projects: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creative Garden Features, Containers, Lighting & More Paperback – Dec 6 2011

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Amazon.com: 29 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Makes me want to get outside and craft! Dec 30 2011
By Gen of North Coast Gardening - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There's some fantastic inspiration here for the savvy craftsperson. Each project has simple step-by-step instructions along with a full-page color photo (or three) showing you the end result.

What I love best about this book is that it's helped me repurpose some of the trash I had waiting in the "go to the dump" pile. The rings from a discarded oak barrel will now be repurposed as a mold for garden stepping stones, which were shown early in the book. And some of the ideas don't require any money at all, like creating "temporary turf tattoos" in the lawn using your mower. What a fun way of celebrating a holiday, to mow a pattern into the lawn to cheer passers-by.

Is this a book of gift ideas? Maybe. Some of the projects are small enough to transport easily and would make great gifts. Others are large, heavy, or simply must be made in the owner's garden, so wouldn't wrap up well for a gift occasion. But enough of the ideas are good for this purpose that I'm certainly glad I got it a few months before my mom's birthday, just in case I want to make a project for her! I have a few pages bookmarked as possibilities for all the gardeners in my life.

My one quibble is that many of the photos in the book look a bit messy or "country". For example, in the page showing you how to make a tabletop knot garden (a very classy idea), the finished result is shown in a Red Flyer wagon. It's hard to imagine a more disparate pairing than an elegant French or English knot garden with a kid's red wagon - it just didn't work for me. In another photo of steel tanks used as planting beds (a look that can be marvelously urban and chic), the photographer didn't remove the red and white label from the tank. That may have been intentional to give an authentic country feeling, but to me, it didn't let the potential beauty of this project shine.

So if you have an artistic eye and can visualize the potential in a project even if the presentation in the photo isn't what you might personally do, then you're in for a real treat with this book. And don't get me wrong, most of the photos are stunning. The author did a particularly good job on her photos of projects using succulents, creating elegant pairings that would shine in any garden.

The biggest strength of this book is that it makes garden projects seem approachable and fun, and gives you the confidence to do your own creative projects in the garden. If you have always wanted to add a few personal touches to your garden, but were unsure of how to do it, this book will give you a good grounding in the basic techniques and materials you'll be working with, and will provide ample inspiration for getting started.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Gorgeous garden project book Feb. 6 2012
By Lori Katz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is such a gorgeous book that I have read it cover to cover two times. I've also just glanced at the photos many times. While I haven't tried any of the projects yet I've been on the lookout for a rowboat to put on the side of my house as shown in the book! I was inspired to turn a broken teapot into a planter and I now have a lovely fern growing on my sunny windowsill. And at a local thrift store I picked up a wicker doll stroller and turned that into a planter too. I just love the ideas in this book and look forward to some springtime projects.

Read as an ebook courtesy of Timber Press via Netgalley.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Good Book Even If You Lack a Green Thumb Jan. 6 2012
By Isadore Ann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Okay, so I don't have a green thumb, but I do enjoy creative projects and having a nice garden. That's why I was so anxious to read this book. I really thought this book did a great job of speaking to novice gardeners as well as those with more experience. They offered very smart, common sense tips about how to start a gardening project, by asking yourself things like what's the goal of your garden (to entertain, grow veggies, etc.), what kind of climate issues are you dealing with, and how much time are you going to realistically have to maintain it.

They also talked about using various materials for different projects, and showed the versatility in each. By far the best section, though, involved the ideas for different garden layouts and projects. There were a wide range of project ideas, and I thought most people would be able to pull them off, even if they weren't particularly creative. Also, the pictures throughout the book are absolutely gorgeous.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I hate to use the word 'meh', but..meh. July 28 2012
By C. Travis Pitts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have absolutely no problem with the seller or the shipping on this product- both were great.
The book itself is just unsatisfactory, and sits really low in the list of home garden and yard decor books I own. I'll probably be reselling or trading at a local bookseller. It has no real how-to or educational value, and the pictures that are in it are secondary to the layout and text which the author(s) seem to be more proud of. A book like this does not need to go more than a page without a picture- let's face it- a book about garden decor is all about garden pictures and visual inspiration, or at the very least, techniques, but this book frequently has breaks of 4 to 5 pages with nothing but a solid color and LARGE, insultingly insipid, meandering paragraphs. Don't get me wrong, I love words- I just want them to instruct or describe a process or scene in the book. The information in this book is kind of useless. It's almost trying to be poetic or inspirational. The layout is poor too- pictures and paragraphs are placed too near the stiff center of the open book, with generous inches of open space at the sides- it's almost as if the pages got out of order at the printer's- but no- occasionally you will come across a two page spread of huge words across both pages, with no pictures or hint as to what scene (previous or next) that they are referring to. they are basically non-sequitur affirmations about garden decorating.
I bought it for myself as well as my garden-savvy girlfriend. As we looked through it, I almost felt the need to apologize that 'it sure looked better online'....

The few craft projects that are spelled out for you in the book are simple, unattractive and a little insulting..like showing how to install brackets to make a shelf out of an existing object.

I really just wish the book was nothing but pictures and brief descriptions of small, quirky gardens using reclaimed or recycled items- with brief descriptions of each and a few ideas on repurposed items. The preview pages that you are able to browse here were well selected and enough to get me to buy the book- it's just too bad the rest of it fell short of inspirational or even educational.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I love this book!! April 2 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love this book because it has so many cool gardening crafts. One of the cool crafts is how to make your own homemade fire flies. When I was a child you would see a lot of fireflies,and we would catch them and put them in a jar and today you don't see too many. It brings back a lot of childhood memories.