Synopses & Reviews
A Garden Makes a House a Home
features twenty-five residential gardens from every region across the United States, presented by veteran shelter magazine garden editor Elvin McDonald in a lavishly illustrated format.
Lush, well-tended gardens—whether they adorn humble cottages or sprawling estates—add beauty and personality to any property and truly make a house into a home. In this volume, gardens from simple to grand respond to the needs of their sites and reveal the unique personalities of the owners that care for them: on a tight urban lot in Houston, a thoughtful selection of water-loving plants and an innovative fountain that mediates rainfall from the city’s frequent deluges block out noise from the surrounding streets; elaborate terraces on a steep hillside in Portland, Oregon, create a variety of outdoor living spaces nestled directly among a rich tapestry of perennials, tall grasses, and Japanese maples; and on forty verdant New Hampshire acres, a series of garden “rooms” and meandering paths create an Edwardian-inspired escape.
The diverse array of gardens inspire with glorious, full-color images of plants thriving in all climates—berries, lettuces, and herbs burst from the rich soils of Berkeley, California, in an edible garden the whole neighborhood is invited to enjoy; succulents of all sizes and shapes add color and texture to a lakeside home in Dallas and an arid Tucson yard equally well; dozens of bonsai and plants native to Asia create an authentic Eastern atmosphere in Indianola, Iowa; the rambling cottage-style plantings of England are reinterpreted in a river valley in Knoxville, Tennessee; and closely clipped boxwood in Greenwich, Connecticut, forms a parterre that rivals the beauty of its elaborate French predecessors across the ocean.
Elvin McDonald draws on his forty-five years of professional experience and distinguished career to present a collection of exquisite landscapes, created both by avid amateurs and well-known designers including Suzy Bales, Rosalind Creasy, Douglas Hoerr, Raymond Jungles, Karen Strohbeen and Bill Luchsinger, and Phillip Watson, that will inspire all who recognize the allure greenery can add to a home.
From humble cottages to sprawling estates, all residences benefit from lush, well-tended gardens that provide solace to the owners and truly turn a house into a home. This survey volume by prolific garden author and editor Elvin McDonald takes the reader on a tour of the most carefully planned, tended, and executed gems of residential gardens across the United States.
Gardens from simple to grand are selected for the way the unique hand of the owner that tends and cares for them is revealed--whether they blend the classical influence of Italy with the plant life of Texas, adeptly convert tight suburban lots into an enfilade of floral "rooms," add tranquil planes of water-loving plants to an otherwise parched landscape, or reinterpret the lessons of Versailles for a Connecticut home. Here, uniquely selected color palettes unify otherwise unruly vegetable gardens, a small lot offers something new for the senses at every step, edible landscapes crop up in unexpectedly harsh landscapes, and roof gardens recall the sod homes of the Midwest's past.
Scales and climates vary to inspire readers from every corner of the country. Featured gardens are located in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Francisco, and Ojai, California; Tucson, Arizona; Dallas, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; Knoxville, Tennessee; Des Moines and Macksburg, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; Chicago and Wilmette, Illinois; New Hampshire; Greenwich, Connecticut; Rhode Island; East Hampton and Oyster Bay, New York; New Jersey; and Florida.
About the Author
ELVIN McDONALD is currently Botanical Educator for the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and is a recipient of the Hutchinson Medal for lifetime achievement from the Chicago Botanic Garden. In 2012, he was inducted as an Honorary Member of the Garden Club of America. He served as Director of Special Projects at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York and is Secretary Emeritus of the American Horticultural Society. The author of more than 50 gardening books, Elvin was garden editor of House Beautiful, Family Circle, Traditional Home and Better Homes and Gardens.