The “ultimate” anything has got to be good. What would this Garden Designer variety have to offer? It needed to be a comprehensive tome covering every aspect of the subject. Needless to say I had visions of a book the size of a small garden shed or at least a rabbit hutch.
This is a surprisingly trim volume for the information it holds: 250 or so pages with over 500 photographs, plans and illustrations. The secret of success for this book is its variations on a theme. The chapter concerning A Small Sheltered Garden, for instance, has a design, planting, features but includes four alternative plans for a long narrow plot, a corner plot, a triangular plot and a rotated aspect. Consider this a horticultural take on 500 Cookies, with the basic recipe and then some options.
There are a full fifteen garden types considered by the author, Tim Newbury. Part One of the book looks at those gardens: cottage gardens and formal gardens, front gardens and roof gardens, enclosed gardens and gardens for special needs. Then Part Two takes an in-depth view of garden features, starting with water and finishing with pots and containers. Part Three has a plant directory that has all the information you’ll need on the plants proposed in any and all of the garden designs. It’s the mixing and matching of ideas and possibilities that has enabled Tim to cram so much between the covers.
The Ultimate Garden Designer has just about everything that a novice gardener would need to transform an existing garden or to plan a garden around a totally empty space. Tim doesn’t assume that you are familiar with plants nor that you have a plot the size of a working farm. He even presents a tiny, low maintenance garden that is 7 metres by 7 metres. For lovers of TV garden design programmes Tim has a split-level garden with decking and water feature!
If you are embarking on garden design or redesign then this might well be the book for you. The Ultimate Garden Designer is packed with advice and ideas and is very reasonably priced. This would make a lovely house-warming gift.
The Ultimate Garden Designer
Author: Tim Newbury
Published by: Octopus
Garden design book review by Chrissie Walker © 2018