The Bottom Line
- Consideration given to do-it-yourselfers who are on a budget.
- Easy to read, with summaries at ends of chapters.
- Most of the photos are black-and-white.
- Photos and illustrations are used, but mainly black-and-white (trade-off for the cheap price).
- Summaries at end of each chapter provide immediate reinforcement.
- The advice offered doesn't overlook those of us on a budget. Cheap alternatives are explored.
- Glossary included.
- Text is punctuated by cute graphics that alert readers to tips and warnings.
- Rock and water gardening given equal time in "Complete Idiot's Guide to Rock and Water Gardening."
- Tools and specific projects are addressed.
- The easy-to-read format makes Complete Idiot's Guide books suitable for browsing and reference.
Guide Review - Complete Idiot's Guide to Rock and Water Gardening
"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Rock and Water Gardening" follows the usual format of Complete Idiot's Guide books, breaking up each page into easy-to-digest sections.
A brief intro is followed by a look at the history of rock gardening and water gardening. Chapter 3 discusses how rock gardening and water gardening can complement each other. Ch. 4 nudges you into choosing your own style with helpful advice, such as, "Choose a motif that will be consistent with your overall lifestyle and stick with it."
Ch. 5 gets into the nitty-gritty of rock gardening, with tips on handling rock, implementing rock gardening designs and creating stairs, paths, stepping-stones and patios. Ch. 6 is its companion piece, focusing on the equally practical issue of "Choosing, Finding, and Using Rock." Not overlooked is the buying or making of faux rocks. The fact that making one's own faux rock is explored provides one example of the book's willingness to offer cheap alternatives for those of us who are on a budget. Chapters 7-8 discuss using plants in rock gardening.
With Ch. 9 the topic switches to water gardening, including how to plan and prepare to get the most out of fountains, streams and waterfalls, and how to incorporate plants and fish. Succeeding chapters deal with pumps, filters, outdoor lighting and detailed instructions for installing ponds. Ch. 13 will be especially useful to those who've already gotten their feet wet with water gardening, as it covers pond maintenance.