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The Green Life: Book Roundup Wednesday: Landscaping Trends

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March 16, 2011

Book Roundup Wednesday: Landscaping Trends

Books about environmentalism Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. Today we're recommending books about new trends in sustainable landscape and garden design.

Tomorrow's Garden: Design and Inspiration for a New Age of Sustainable Gardening (by Stephen Orr, $25, Rodale, 2011): Beginning with the premise that a garden can be an "outdoor room," Orr's approach to garden design is marked by smart aesthetics and sustainable choices. The book's gorgeous photos show lush landscapes that would compliment the clean, modern architecture typically featured in Dwell magazine.

The Edible Front Yard: The Mow-Less, Grow-More Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful Garden (by Ivette Soler, $20, Timber Press, 2011): This inspiring guide offers a fresh alternative to the boring front lawn: edible landscaping. A wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs are covered, along with plant-care advice and food-prep ideas. Later chapters provide instruction about garden structure and design. Vivid photos throughout make the idea of the edible front yard look quite enticing.  

The Living Garden: A Place that Works with Nature (by Jane Powers, $35, Frances Lincoln Limited, 2011): Historically, author Jane Powers explains, "one of gardening's main themes was exerting control over a savage and unruly natural world." But times have changed, and this book approaches gardening as an act of cooperation with nature. For Powers, the ideal garden incorprates composting; attracts birds, butterflies, and bees; and works in harmony with seasonal cycles.

1000 Designs for the Garden and Where to Find Them (by Geraldine and Ian Rudge, $30, Laurence King Publishing, April 2011): A shopping guide of sorts, this tome can be described as 360 pages of eye candy. Design junkies will drool over Jetsons-inspired lawn furniture and Andy-Goldsworthy-esque garden sculptures. Nearly every possible garden element is covered, including pools and sheds. The high-end items aren't for the average backyard budget, but if you're looking to splurge or dream, this is your book.

Energy-Wise Landscape Design: A New Approach for Your Home and Garden (by Sue Reed, $30, New Society Publishers, 2010): This information-rich book goes beyond the usual turf of ubiquitous green-home guides by detailing low-maintenance landscape designs to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. Ideal for people who are seriously committed to lowering their home's carbon footprint, the book is part science textbook and part how-to guide, with illustrations diagramming wind patterns and shade angles. Later chapters focus on strategies for reducing energy and water use during lawn care (hint: rethink the definition of "lawn").

--Della Watson

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