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Book Review: Cultivating Garden Style

Cultivating Garden Style
Inspired ideas and practical advice to unleash your garden personality
by Rochelle Greayer

Cultivating Garden Style

324 pages
2014, Timber Press
List price: $35.00, hardcover

Fans of Rochelle Greayer's Studio 'g' blog and the gardening newspaper/magazine Pith + Vigor will relish her new book, loaded with photographs, tips, and ideas for releasing artistic talent in the garden.

I am hard-pressed as to how to classify this book among other gardening titles. My first thought as I leafed through it was that it reminded me of a scrapbook of ideas, or maybe even a mood board of a sort, and it's surely both of those. Upon closer inspection, it reads much like a typical magazine story, with topics and subheadings, but the layout doesn't resemble that in the least.

The best writers show, not tell, but to our delight, Rochelle does both. This is not a book to be read like a novel, front to back, although you could. Though it's image-rich (over 1500 photos), it's not a typical coffee table book either, but that's where you'll want to keep it. You can open it up to just about any page and find a useful tip, a new idea, or even an old idea presented in a fresh new way.

There are 23 different gardens featured that will cover just about any style you decide to call your own. You'll learn basic gardening principles right alongside fun and interesting design ideas and Rochelle goes on to include several how-tos as well as sources to make it easier for you to find many of the elements she features.

Walking through Cultivating Garden Style is much like taking a stroll through the outdoor version of your favorite lifestyle and home decor store - you'll see something new each time you do. It will also wreak havoc with your "to do" list.

Rochelle Greayer is editor of Pith + Vigor, creator of the popular blog Studio 'g', co-editor of Leaf Magazine, and weekly columnist for Apartment Therapy. A graduate of the English Gardening School in London, she spent ten years designing gardens for international clients and earned a coveted medal from the Royal Horticultural Society for her garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower show. Rochelle’s garden style reflects her Colorado roots—as close to Handsome Prairie as you can get in the middle of New England, with healthy dashes of Sacred Meadow, Forest Temple, and Homegrown Rock 'n' Roll thrown in.

Read more garden book reviews.
Read Kylee Baumle’s blog, Our Little Acre.