Synopses & Reviews
If there's one lesson every homeowner must learn, it's this: The traditional lawn is a huge, time consuming, synthetic-chemical sucking mistake. The time has come to look for new ways to create friendly, livable spaces around our homes.
In The American Meadow Garden, ornamental grass expert John Greenlee creates a new model for homeowners and gardeners. For Greenlee, a meadow isn't a random assortment of messy, anonymous grasses. Rather, it is a shimmering mini-ecosystem, in which regionally appropriate grasses combine with colorful perennials to form a rich tapestry that is friendly to all life -- with minimal input of water, time, and other scarce resources. Kids and pets can play in complete safety, and birds and butterflies flock there. A prairie style planting is a place you want to be.
With decades of experience as a nurseryman and designer, John Greenlee is the perfect guide. He
details all the practicalities of site preparation, plant selection, and maintenance; particularly valuable
are his explanations of how ornamental grasses perform in different climates and areas. Gorgeous
photography by Saxon Holt visually illustrates the message with stunning examples of meadow
gardens from across the country.
We've reached a stage where we can no longer follow past practices unthinkingly, particularly when
those practices are wasteful and harmful to the environment. It's time to get rid of the old-fashioned
lawn and embrace a sane and healthy future: the American meadow garden.
"In a book long awaited by green mavens and horticultural enthusiasts, Greenlee's dynamic garden designs are paired with Holt's splendid photographs in a beautifully produced, information-packed volume that looks at meadows in the context of garden spaces large or small."
"This is the rare species of garden book with a continental-wide scope from a West Coast point of view." San Francisco Chronicle
"If you've ever thought of abandoning your lawn but haven't yet, The American Meadow Garden will surely inspire you to action ... Take a long look at your lawn mower, and then go buy this book." American Gardener
"After you read this book, you'll wonder why you ever entertained the idea of a lawn." Garden Design Online
"Finally, John Greenlee--who is part of America's trinity of Gramineous Gods--has mapped out his lifetime of experience creating successful meadows. I highly recommend this treasure trove of a book." Denver Botanic Gardens blog
"You'll be rethinking labor-and-resource-intensive lawns after a couple of minutes with The American Meadow Garden." Oregonian
"This is not a book about how to create the purist's wildflower meadow, but breaks new ground in showing how garden plants can be used to create a meadow-like environment. Saxon Holt's photography is beautiful, and Greenlee's prose the right blend of informative and occasionally provocative."
"As you turn the pages you will start to imagine that you are sprawled out in the meadow of your dreams, the grasses swooshing over your head ... It's not every book that lifts you from your reading nook and opens wide the vista of the heavens."
"A paean to grassy, no-mow landscapes that shiver, shimmer and wave ... Greenlee's easy prose welcomes all comers to aim higher than slabs of pool-table green." Ketzel Levine
"[This book] is the gold standard when it comes to meadow gardening ... I've read endless articles on meadow gardening, and none have given me the depth of information that made me feel confident that this would not be a maintenance nightmare." NPR.org
"With Holt's photographs, this is a large and colorful showcase of Greenlee's extensive knowledge and great passion for gardening. His enthusiasm [is] infectious ...gardeners ... will find this book extremely helpful and inspirational." Detroit News
Ornamental grass expert Greenlee says it's time to get rid of the old-fashioned lawn and embrace a sane and healthy future: the American meadow garden. Gorgeous photography offers stunning examples of meadow gardens from across the country.
In a book with full-color photos, an expert nurseryman and designer details site preparation, plant selection and maintenance of a meadow garden, explaining how ornamental grasses perform in different climates and areas.
About the Author
John Greenlee has been creating grass ecologies in gardens of all sizes all over the United States and Canada since 1984. He owns Greenlee Nursery, the oldest grass nursery in California. He has appeared frequently on television and was named horticulturist of the year in 2002 by the Southern California Association of Horticulturists. His previous book is The Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses
(Rodale 1992). He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in ornamental horticulture from Cal Poly, Pomona, California.
Saxon Holt has combined his career as a photographer with a lifelong love of gardening. His work has appeared in dozens of books and gardening magazines. He is a member of the American Society of Media Photographers, the American Society of Picture Professionals, and the Garden Writers of America Association, from which he has received three awards for his photography.
Table of Contents
The lure of the meadow -- How and where grasses grow -- Meadows for a purpose -- Accent on design -- A portfolio of meadow gardens -- Grasses for meadows -- Making a meadow -- Establishing and maintaining a meadow -- Resources -- Meadows to visit.