Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Plant Driven Design by Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden

Now that summer is here in full swing, we are spending more time outside. The plants we put out earlier this year are beginning to fill in and look good. But we can't help but wonder how much better the yard might look if we took an overall design approach instead of just plopping things in where they are easiest to plant. If you are wondering the same thing, Plant-Driven Design by husband and wife team Scott and Lauren Ogden will give you lots to think about.

The Ogdens take a different approach to garden design than most design books. Most designers start with the architecture and the "hardscape." The Ogdens feel that the garden is about plants, so plants are their main focus. Their book makes a good argument for using plants as the bone structure of the garden. Their subtitle, Creating Gardens That Honor Plants, Place and Spirit, is a good description of what they do.

The best part of the book is the collection of photographs, all taken by the Ogdens. They have travelled the world studying plants and taking photographs filled with great ideas. Most of the photos in the book are from Colorado and Texas (where the authors have homes), but there are ideas from everywhere for how to use plants more effectively.

This is a great idea book for anyone ready to tackle the next step in garden design. It is even better for those of us who just sit on the patio and dream about what else we might do if it just wasn't so much work.

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