University of Vermont Extension 
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Perennial Publications : Book of the Month

Decorating Your Garden,
Creative Ideas for Transforming Your Outdoor Living Space
Tessa Evelegh. 1999. Lorenz Books, 256 pages, hardcover.

First published in the UK, then in the US and so popular it may be hard to find, this book is a colorful source of ideas, full of beautiful photos. The British author is also a designer, lecturer, contributor to many magazines, and decorator of indoor and outdoor spaces. Adding accessories or whimsy to gardens is popular, and every couple pages of this book has ideas for doing so-- many quite creative and novel. Many photos are also shown of the various steps to create garden items such as an alpine trough made of seashells, a Mexican painted pot, tiled or painted garden furniture, or perhaps hanging mobiles. Examples of items you can make are easy and inexpensive. Ideas also can be found from lighting your outdoor space, to using pergolas and other structures.

The author encourages us to think of the garden as an extension of indoor space, and organizes the book in this manner. After a chapter about planning the garden for living in, she discusses and gives ideas for the garden floors and walls, be they mosaic tiles or painted picket fences for example. Next come the the fixtures and fittings, be they various types of children's play houses or various wall decorations. Garden furniture, the next chapter, has ideas on how to paint wooden furniture or add tiles. "Plants in pots: the soft furnishings" chapter has ideas on painting pots to making herb garden combinations or herbal topiaries. In the garden accessories chapter she shows how to make tile mosaic spheres, novel birdhouses or perhaps a chicken wire cloche. In the end the garden space should be enjoyed, and ideas are given to enhance this enjoyment such as with gilded pots with candles and other novel night lights. Ideas can be as practical and simple as using velcro to attach curtain weights to a tablecloth to keep it in place.

This is a great book whether you're looking for homemade garden projects, garden gift ideas you can make for holidays or special days, new ideas to design your own outdoor living space, or merely get inspiration from viewing others' gardens and ideas. It's a fresh source of ideas not commonly seen in our U.S. gardens, and a fresh way of looking at our own gardens.

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