This new paperback edition of Ann Lovejoy’s spectacular organic gardening book brings a lifetime’s worth of experience and knowledge from one of this country’s leading gardening experts. In it she shows readers how to apply her organic design principles to any site, large or small, to create healthy, self-sufficient gardens that are easy to care for, ecologically sound, and enduringly beautiful.
West Coast gardening guru Ann Lovejoy has gained a significant following, and deservedly so–she’s a gifted teacher, a lyrical writer, and a passionate advocate of organic solutions to even the most daunting garden problems. Her Organic Garden Design School is meant for readers who still consider themselves students, but who are serious enough to “move beyond the beginner stage.” A 36-page workbook concludes this glossy, lavishly illustrated volume. Workbook assignments include “Drawing a Map,” “Testing Soil,” and “Minding Your Mulch.”
As a designer of gardens that are faithful to the natural world and don’t require too much pruning or artificial control, Lovejoy invents her own terms. Her style resembles English gardening, except she warns against the nostalgic impulse many gardeners fall into, determined to create gardens from another era or another country. Lovejoy’s an advocate of “gardening where you live,” not forcing a dream of another place onto the landscape. She emphasizes native plants, designing around slopes or flaws, working with shade or sunlight as they appear. Perhaps most instructive are her “five senses” of the garden: the sense of welcome, enclosure, and entry, flow, and place. “Rather than physical attributes,” she writes, “these are more subtle aspects that give each garden its own flavor and character.” –Emily White