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Reviews of The Woodland Garden

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Book Profile
Author (1): Jack Elliott

Softcopy edition:
Publish date: Month Unknown 1998
Published by: Alpine Garden Society
List price: £12.95
ISBN Number: 0900048689


  Feedback History and Summary  
1 positive
No neutrals
1 negative


Negative gardenerLew On Mar 9, 2009, gardenerLew wrote:

It should be stated that this book's emphasis is on creating a miniature woodland garden, and not gardening in the woods. The difference is one of scale as the book is, for the most part, a tribute to the author's own surburban, less-than-an-acre, building lot, and much of his material, in word and plant, addresses blocking out his neighbors' houses, cars, garages, and views of the street. Many of the photographs are various shots of the same helpful are several images of a rather plebian (think Home Depot purchase) Virgin Mary, or glaringly white Victorianesque cast iron bench? The latter he claims, adds color to the garden, but both contradict his premise that a wooden bench or fence, being man-made, is out of place in a woodland setting. The book is not without merit or enjoyment, as the author's passion for his creation is clearly evident, (he planted 140 rhododendron and trucked in 300 cubic yards of soil for a 14' high berm!) and the actual landscape is magnificently blessed with huge, beautiful stone outcroppings. For those of us who are, however, actually seeking to scape a wood, the concept of raking leaves off of the pathways in one's woodland, as the author does, surpasses the precious and enters the realm of the ridiculous. His choices of plant material are repetitive and unimaginative with overuse of common pachysandra and variegated euonymous. His creation of a "dam" out of plastic bags filled with sand would be a silly washout for anything but a trickle of water. Again, there is enjoyment in reading here if one remembers that the word amateur comes from the word for love, not knowledge. Far better reference is out there for the serious who seek to garden a woodland. Larry Hodgson's "Making the Most of Shade" is one of the best.

Positive Miggy On Feb 13, 2004, Miggy wrote:

My favorite book on shade gardens. Very few photos. Very good info. Suited more to British climes.

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