Book Review: The Outdoor Room

The Outdoor Room
by Jamie Durie

224 pages, softcover
Harper Design, 2011
List price: $25.99

You may know Jamie Durie from PBS’s The Victory Garden and his HGTV show, The Outdoor Room. He’s the Aussie-accented fireball that not only gets you enthused about gardening, but shows you how, in a way that gives you the confidence that you really can do it.

I met Jamie for the first time in August, at the Independent Garden Center Show in Chicago, where he was promoting his new book, The Outdoor Room. He had that same trademark enthusiasm as he took the time to show me how the book was laid out, explaining the how and why of the various landscape designs.

The designs in the book are quintessential Durie. They are fresh and modern, with enough tradition to appeal to the styles of a large number of gardeners. Each has a formulaic presentation – Design Brief, Design Solution, Eco-Tip, Bite-Size Design, Plant List, Where it Works (USDA Zones), Inspiration, Design Elements and one element rarely seen in books of this type – that of the maintenance required (Garden Care) once the outdoor room is completed. This allows you to truly see the big picture before a single paver is laid or shrub is planted.

There are plenty of photographs and design diagrams to help you create your own outdoor room, whether your main purpose is to create a cozy retreat, an area for entertaining, or both. Jamie even gives you some assistance with choosing that, too. The Outdoor Room is a landscape design class you can take in the comfort of your favorite reading chair, which I have a feeling is just the way Jamie planned it.

Jamie Durie is a qualified horticulturist, award-winning landscape designer, and host of both PBS’s The Victory Garden and HGTV’s The Outdoor Room. He is the author of several books, including Patio, Inspired, The Source Book, and Outdoor Kids. His company, Durie Design, is based in Los Angeles, where he lives.

Read more garden book reviews.

Read Kylee Baumle’s blog, Our Little Acre.

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