Gardening from the couch: Home Outside
Last Sunday in Gardening from the Couch, I wrote that there are three kinds of garden books: coffee table books with pictures of gardens you will never have; inspirational books filled with thoughts you never have and really useful books.
Julie Moir Messervy's Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love is one of those coffee table books with pictures of gardens you will never have.
The author makes the quite sensible point that we spend like crazy on the inside of our homes, executing with confidence our ideas for what we want the rooms to look like.
But we don't give our outside spaces the same attention or the same resources. Our yards are "rooms," too, but we settle for a shade tree and some foundation plants.
She makes the point, correctly I think, that we don't have the same kind of confidence when it comes to "decorating" our yards. And she maps out for us a 6-step approach for overcoming that hesitation and creating a "home outside."
This is a great book to page through on a sunny Sunday afternoon. And if you are even an amateur landscape designer, you will learn a great deal.
But if you are a trial and error gardener like me - mostly error - you are never going to have the lush, lavish outdoor spaces in these pictures, and the book is likely to make you discontent.
That's the way it makes me feel, anyway.
I take away from these books what I can: a small idea here and there for plant combinations or garden accessories. Something I can actually get my head around and, maybe, do in my own garden.