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Ann Lovejoy's Organic Garden Design School: A Guide for Creating Your Own Beautiful, Easy-Care Garden (Rodale Organic Gardening Books) [Hardcover]

Ann Lovejoy
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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With new century dawning, we are beginning to discover a new way of gardening, a new way of thinking about our plants, and a new way of interacting with the natural world. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly organized but good information May 27 2002
Since I'm currently resolved to redesign my yard in the interests of increasing its ecological value and decreasing required maintenance, this "organic garden design school" SEEMED like the perfect book for me. And there is a lot of good information in here, about design considerations, planting tips, etc, some of which I've found nowhere else, and which have made the book worthwhile to me. HOWEVER, winnowing that information from the book was not very easy. Though the title suggests this is a textbook, it is really a long series of 1- or 2-page rambles about one or another aspect of the author's experience gardening her own yard (and one other yard). This work is poorly edited and organized, and there is a huge emphasis on just those two examples of garden design. To apply the lessons of this book myself, I needed more than anecdotes from two situations unlike my own. I needed some generally stated design principles, as well as some very specific techniques (e.g. how to build raised beds like the author's). While this information is in there, and some of it is quite illuminating, those gems occur nearly randomly within the 1- or 2-page rambles. If the book was titled something like "Design Thoughts," perhaps I wouldn't be so disappointed, but a "school" and a "guide," with all the clarity those words suggest, this book is not. A workbook section at the end of the book makes up for this by finally providing the reader with a definite guide for action. But it would have been a much more of a "school" and a "guide" if the workbook had been integrated into the chapters, rather than tacked on at the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide to organic gardening and design April 2 2001
The author teaches garden design classes near Seattle, Washington and shares her outlines here. She is a strong advocate of naturalistic gardening and encourages gardeners to seek out the native plants growing in their particular area and use them to their greatest advantage in an entirely organic way. She begins by discussing the principles of design with the "five senses of the garden" (welcome, enclosure, entry, flow, and place) and continues with other design principles such as "green architecture" (elements of the garden such as plants and structures), creating natural backdrops, "sandwich gardening" (intermingling plants in the same location), and using combinations and vignettes. Other informative sections focus on paths and walkways, layering plants to scale, and problem-solving. Helpful charts list specific plants for certain situations. The last third of the book focuses on maintenance and offers clearcut advice and instructions on mulching, composting, etc. Included at the end of the volume is a 34-page workbook for readers to list plant choices, set goals, and create their own garden plan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ann Lovejoy's Organic Garden School Jan. 2 2003
This book changed my life! In a nutshell, I was focusing on perennials and color; after reading her book, I got into foliage and structure. I used to buy bushes and "hope" they wouldn't get too big, but her philosophy is to buy the right bush in the first place. I guess I just needed someone to tellme that! I have been gardening for about 15 years, and have read many books, but this is the first that actually made me do things differently! I love Ann's passion for gardening. I love this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars clearly written Sept. 14 2002
I have enjoyed using this book as a good reference for my growing garden. Lovejoy's style is clear, she provides some worksheets in the back of the book, which I found helpful. I also noted her 'voice' in the book is not haughty or stuffy - she is friendly, and clear, which as an avid reader of garden books, I found refreshing. Her ideas are both simple and logical. I love this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide for all gardening levels May 19 2001
Create a beautiful and easy organic garden with the aid of Organic Garden Design School, a design-oriented book which covers topics ranging from linking cultivation efforts to the natural environment offered to using colors and textures in the garden. Using space wisely, choosing native plants, and creating a garden mood are all covered in an excellent guide for all gardening levels.
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