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This book is absolutely gorgeous. The photography is beautiful, the plants inspiring. I think the containers are fabulous, though I do wish he gave more sources (I often don't know where to find the containers I see in books or shows.) I do have zone envy, but can often over winter plants indoors, under lights. I also enjoy seeing the way he recommends using yard ornamentation - sparingly!!!
On the plus side, the photography is stunning, and there are lots of interesting plants and garden ornaments in the photos. I agree with the author's perspective on the great and tasteless nothingness that exemplifies the average American yard (a few foundation shrubs, some lawn, a forlorn container full of some bright-colored annuals).
I also liked the focus on succulents and sword-leaved plants. I'll load up next time I get to Sacramento nurseries.
On the minus side, the book's focus is on gardens in zones 8-10, and much is not possible without a greenhouse in colder climates.
I was also a little disheartened by the author's disparagement of annuals. Yes, flats of petunias can be unspeakably trite and downright tasteless, but I've found that most annuals and tender perennials are very useful in the garden. It's all a matter of how they are used.
I'm not quite sure where I stand on the lavish use of garden sculpture--while I'm dead set against "butt people" and cement or bronze children, I don't think that the gardens featured in the book were completely comfortable, precisely because of the heavy use of garden ornaments. These gardens would be superb places for extravagant entertaining, but I don't "entertain".
In all, I liked the book as a paper visit to unique gardens, but I find Ken Druse's and Lauren Springer's books more to my tastes and inclinations.