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Elements of Garden Design
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"Elements of Garden Design" does what few gardening books do--it addresses the process of conceiving a whole garden, as opposed to a single element like color or a particular class of plant. Joe Eck explores the idea of a garden, and offers a practical approach to translating concepts such as "intention" and "harmony" into the solid forms of hedges and terraces, paths and rooms. Novice and experienced professional alike will find both food for thought and down-on-the-ground advice on such matters as creating child- and pet-friendly designs.
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About the Author

Joe Eck is cofounder of the garden design firm North Hill and coauthor of A Year at North Hill and Living Seasonally. He lives in Vermont.

Reviews

Written for serious gardeners at any level of expertise, these thoughtful essays transcend the how-to genre and speak rather to the fine art of gardening as Eck defends his ``argument'' that ``what defines a garden is less what is grown in it than how what grows is arranged.'' Drawn from a series of articles Eck wrote in the early 1990s for Horticulture magazine, the book is divided into two sections, ``Theory'' and ``Practice,'' covering such principles as "Scale," "Structure" and "Symmetry," along with more concrete topics, e.g., "Lawns and Ground Covers," "Water in the Garden" and "Utility Areas." In the chapter entitled "Repose," for instance, Eck explores ways to achieve this quality in a garden, whether through a balance of mown grass against a border, the repetition of elements or the creation of a secluded corner. Eck, who coauthored A Year at North Hill with Wayne Winterrowd, writes a formal, elegant prose illuminated by wisdom gleaned from years of experience and sparked with flashes of dry wit. Inviting serious study as well as browsing, this volume deserves a spot on any dedicated gardener's shelf. (Jan.)

This volume consists of articles reprinted from Horticulture magazine. Eck, a landscape designer, discusses the basic garden design concepts that people might consider when planning a garden. He also includes chapters on garden elements such as foundation plantings, water features, greenhouses, sculpture, and the like. The book works well as an introduction to design concepts for gardeners who want to take a thoughtful approach in creating a garden that will reflect their individual taste. The lack of an index is a problem, however, for quick location of information. For comprehensive gardening collections or where there is an extensive demand for garden design materials.‘Dale Luchsinger, Athens Area Technical Inst., Ga.

"This book charts a deliberate and negotiable course through the mysteries of creating a garden. Articulate and thought provoking, the strength of Eck's writing comes from its basis in practice, for in actually creating a designed landscape that works, Eck has no equal in America." --Daniel J. Hinkley, author of The Explorer's Garden and founder of Heronswood Nursery "Garden design is notoriously difficult to write about well, but in this gem of a book, Joe Eck succeeds in communicating the essentials of this elusive subject with clarity, grace, and authority. There is no other work on design that I would so unhesitatingly recommend to novice and experienced gardeners alike." --Tom Fischer, editor of Horticulture magazine "The are a handful of garden communicators who take on American garden design. Among them, one voice dependably gets to the heart of the matter. Rather than presenting 101 landscape plans, Joe Eck truly identifies and examines elements--not just the "what should be," but "what could be." He helps readers visualize the possiblilites and identify ideas that match their garden's spirit." --Ken Druse, author of The Passion of Gardening "What a pleasure to have Joe Eck's Elements of Garden Design at hand, for it is full of precise, beautifully written wisdom. I particularly love his thoughts on achieving repose with the "flat and quiet plane," or "the use of a large gesture" in the garden; and, in his essay on time, reminding us of the realities of an aging garden--more shade, yes, but also a restraint imposed, a natural process of editing, "and if one is wise, one will recognize that less is, paradoxically, more." --Page Dickey, author of Breaking Ground: Portraits of Ten Garden Designers This book charts a deliberate and negotiable course through the mysteries of creating a garden. Articulate and thought provoking, the strength of Eck's writing comes from its basis in practice, for in actually creating a designed landscape that works, Eck has no equal in America. "Daniel J. Hinkley, author of The Explorer's Garden and founder of Heronswood Nursery" Garden design is notoriously difficult to write about well, but in this gem of a book, Joe Eck succeeds in communicating the essentials of this elusive subject with clarity, grace, and authority. There is no other work on design that I would so unhesitatingly recommend to novice and experienced gardeners alike. "Tom Fischer, editor of Horticulture magazine" The are a handful of garden communicators who take on American garden design. Among them, one voice dependably gets to the heart of the matter. Rather than presenting 101 landscape plans, Joe Eck truly identifies and examines elements--not just the "what should be," but "what could be." He helps readers visualize the possiblilites and identify ideas that match their garden's spirit. "Ken Druse, author of The Passion of Gardening" What a pleasure to have Joe Eck's "Elements of Garden Design" at hand, for it is full of precise, beautifully written wisdom. I particularly love his thoughts on achieving repose with the "flat and quiet plane," or "the use of a large gesture" in the garden; and, in his essay on time, reminding us of the realities of an aging garden--more shade, yes, but also a restraint imposed, a natural process of editing, "and if one is wise, one will recognize that less is, paradoxically, more. "Page Dickey, author of Breaking Ground: Portraits of Ten Garden Designers"" "This book charts a deliberate and negotiable course through the mysteries of creating a garden. Articulate and thought provoking, the strength of Eck's writing comes from its basis in practice, for in actually creating a designed landscape that works, Eck has no equal in America." --Daniel J. Hinkley, author of "The Explorer's Garden" and founder of Heronswood Nursery "Garden design is notoriously difficult to write about well, but in this gem of a book, Joe Eck succeeds in communicating the essentials of this elusive subject with clarity, grace, and authority. There is no other work on design that I would so unhesitatingly recommend to novice and experienced gardeners alike." --Tom Fischer, editor of "Horticulture" magazine "The are a handful of garden communicators who take on American garden design. Among them, one voice dependably gets to the heart of the matter. Rather than presenting 101 landscape plans, Joe Eck truly identifies and examines elements--not just the "what should be," but "what could be." He helps readers visualize the possiblilites and identify ideas that match their garden's spirit." --Ken Druse, author of "The Passion of Gardening" "What a pleasure to have Joe Eck's "Elements of Garden Design" at hand, for it is full of precise, beautifully written wisdom. I particularly love his thoughts on achieving repose with the "flat and quiet plane," or "the use of a large gesture" in the garden; and, in his essay on time, reminding us of the realities of an aging garden--more shade, yes, but also a restraint imposed, a natural process of editing, "and if one is wise, one will recognize that less is, paradoxically, more." --Page Dickey, author of "Breaking Ground: Portraits of Ten Garden Designers"

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