Book Review: Garden Up!

Garden Up!Garden Up!
Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces
by Susan Morrison & Rebecca Sweet

224 pages
Cool Springs Press, 2011
List price: $19.95

Sears had “The Wish Book.” Many companies have an “idea book.” Garden Up! is both. Though written to help those who may have limited space in which to garden by focusing on vertical gardening, authors Rebecca Sweet and Susan Morrison put their creative brains together and the result is a book that is for every gardener.

When I first received Garden Up! in the mail last week, it was much like when I used to sit down with the catalogue before Christmas. I had paper and pen in hand, and I jotted down notes of ideas that I might be able to use in my own garden. Though I have an acre of property to work with, there are places where one or two (or three) of the growing solutions in this book would make my space more attractive and interesting.

While I’ve always had a little trouble thinking outside the box when it comes to design, with Garden Up! I don’t have to. Sweet and Morrison have done it for me. Some of the ideas were so beautifully simple that they had me smacking my forehead, saying, “Now why didn’t I think of that?” Others, I would never have thought of in a million years.

This is a hefty book for its size, owing to the nice quality of the soft cover and pages. But I just know I’ll wish it was hardcover, because this is one book that will be getting lots of use, as I continue to pore over the sizeable collection of garden ideas with a vertical twist.

As a gardener who has been at it just long enough to begin to feel bored with how my gardens look, Garden Up! has me excited to get out there and create some interest where there isn’t any – just as soon as spring decides to come and stay.

Susan Morrison is a landscape designer, garden writer and Master Gardener based in Northern California. In addition to writing for traditional media publications such as Fine Gardening, Susan blogs about her life as a garden designer and shares her challenges and successes as a home gardener at Blue Planet Blog. She is a founding member of the Lawn Reform Coalition and the Garden Designer’s Roundtable.

Rebecca Sweet is the owner of Harmony in the Garden, located in Northern California. Her gardens have been featured in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, and Fine Homebuilding as well as regional newspapers and publications. Rebecca is a featured columnist for Horticulture, a contributing author for Fine Gardening, and writes design-focused articles for Fiskars®. She contributes to online gardening sites as well as being a founding member of the Garden Designer’s Roundtable. She writes about gardening on her blog, Gossip in the Garden.

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