The Bottom Line
This is the book I'd want on my bookshelf as a novice to landscaping who just bought a new home. As with all "Dummies" books, either read straight through starting at Page 1, or use as a reference.
- Truly written for the novice...
- yet comprehensive...
- and all at the right price!
- Relatively few color photos.
- Plant naming conventions explained. We're told what the funny Latin terminology is there for.
- Tip for drawing a site plan: "form follows function." Don't plant shrubs on an athlete's lawn.
- Tips on saving money, zoning, construction and do-it-yourself tasks vs. tasks for professionals.
- Hardscape tips: fences, patios, decks, gates, walls, paths. Concrete work, brick, pavers, stone.
- Tip: hardscape precedes softscape. Remembering this will save you time, money and frustration.
- How to tackle problem areas. For instance, converting a slope into a showcase area.
- Using a hedge as a privacy screen? Find out the best plant choices for your needs.
- Sod vs. seed for planting a lawn, and about ground covers and native plantings instead of lawns.
- Theme gardens, drought-tolerant plants, woodland gardens, water gardens and rock gardens.
- Using raised beds in landscaping to eliminate backache and provide interest on the vertical plane.
Guide Review - Landscaping Made Easy With "Landscaping for Dummies"
"A well-planned landscape beautifies your house, wedding it with the surroundings and making it a part of a neighborhood or native terrain." My opinion of this quote from the Introduction could just as easily serve as my opinion of the whole book -- comprehensive yet simple. As with all "Dummies" books, it's packed with information from the outset, giving landscaping URLs and sources for hiring professionals in the Preface. Divided into 5 sections, it begins with how to draw a site plan. There follow sections on hardscape, softscape and site plans fully drawn by professionals. Finally, as is the Dummies tradition, it closes with "The Part of Tens," most notably with "Ten Ways to Increase Your Home's Resale Value."