Worth a Read

The Authentic Garden: Naturalistic and Contemporary Landscape Design

By Richard Hartlage and Sandy Fischer | The Monacelli Press

Just because you put your garden to bed doesn’t mean you can be dreaming about your next project. In contemporary garden design, beauty for beauty’s sake is making a comeback. The 60 gardens featured here trace current planting trends across the U.S., but the ideas you’ll gain will be great for winter reading to inspire your own garden. Plants are used to reinforce meaningful content, ecological strategies, and most importantly, to create immersive and emotional experiences. The movements of architectural, naturalistic, meadow, matrix, graphic, and ecological planting design have been adopted for such landscapes as large urban city gardens. The book also illustrates how letting plants, rather than hardscape elements, lead design. Residential as well as public gardens are featured, and all are united by an immediately perceptible, intelligent selection of plants that create an enthralling, memorable, and fitting sense of place: this is what makes a garden truly authentic. Detail, as well as overview images of gardens throughout the seasons and abundant plant identifications, make this volume a valuable reference for all home gardeners as well as landscape design professionals interested in tracing the themes prevalent in contemporary gardens.