Gardens Big and Small | Wyatt’s World

Spring is here, and even if the weather across the country doesn’t prove that point, the focus on gardens and flowers in the bevy of new books on the topic announce that it’s time to get working on our outdoor spaces (or tiny indoor gardens). Here are just a few from the fresh crop of which to choose.

  • Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, cutflowergarden.jpg33117and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms by Erin Benzakein with Julie Chai; photos by Michele M. Waite (Chronicle).
    This flower book of the moment spans the hottest current trends. Benzakein grows flowers on a large scale but teaches that most anyone can do the same in smaller spaces. She then demonstrates how to arrange what readers grow (or by way of shortcut, buy).
  • Urban Flowers: Creating Abundance in a Small City Garden by Carolyn Dunster (Frances Lincoln).
    City dwellers often have minimal room to plant, including tight backyards, shared balconies, or perhaps just a front stoop. Dunster’s volume offers ways to arrange flowers into such areas along with guidance on how to evaluate the given terrain, pick a style, and select the right blooms.
  • Thenford: The Creation of an English Garden by Michael & Anne Heseltine (Head of Zeus).
    A book to dream over, this lushly illustrated work captures on the page the creation and history of a vast and amazing garden, one that sprawls, Downton Abbey–style, seemingly as far as the eye can see. A gorgeous catalog of detail and delight.
  • My Tiny Indoor Garden: Houseplant Heroes and Terrific Terrariums in Small Spaces by Lia Leendertz (Pavilion).
    It’s hard to imagine how small a habitat can be, even beyond the microscopic size of those kept under glass on a windowsill. Picking up on the terrarium trend of a few years ago, Leendertz builds minilandscapes out of collections of vases, groupings of pots, and protected domes.
  • Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes by Piet Oudolf & Rick Darke (Timber).
    Coming in June is this ode to one of New York City’s most beloved destinations, and one of the most important public spaces in America. How an abandoned railroad spur became such a stunning setting is story enough, yet this selection also presents the much-admired green plan, making it accessible to home gardeners.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at

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