Gardenista: The definitive guide to stylish outdoor spaces - Michelle Slatalla November 17, 2016 13:58

Gardenista - Definitive guide to stylish outdoor spacesHaving ordered this garden book a while ago, I eagerly anticipated its arrival. Gardenista is a blog that I've been following for a while. Sister to the well known Remodelista, it is an online haven of stylish gardens, interesting interviews, top tips and above all, inspiring ideas. It is a real feast for the eyes and the new book is no different. 

Gardenista 'the book' arrived a week or two ago and my nose has been dipping in and out of it ever since. It features gardens from around both the US and UK, many small, city gardens as well as larger plots and everything in between. While gardening in Kent (England) is very different from gardening in California, issues such as a challenging site, wildlife considerations and of course the weather are universal. I for one love the mix of gardens and spaces included. It gives you a sense of this wider community, beavering away to make a beautiful home and garden for themselves and their visitors, furry or otherwise. It makes you appreciate the familiarity of your own environment and how easy gardening in a rainy part of the world actually is. It also takes you one step back from simply planting and instead gets you thinking more broadly about structure, design and landscape. 

This sense of design and of working within the confines of the landscape / environment to create something truly beautiful sets the tone for the whole book. Plenty of the gardens featured have been created by professional garden designers as well as talented, green fingered owners. Edible gardens, evergreen gardens, flower filled meadow gardens, even a 1920's Hollywood inspired garden (yes please) - all sorts of outdoor spaces are showcased, each one brimming with ideas to inspire and steal. One London courtyard garden, designed by Tom Stuart Smith, is absolutely incredible. Tall high walls of a garden completely boxed in and cut off hasn't deterred the owner or the designer, who have created a gorgeous, tropical courtyard, which sits serenely under a large glass skylight. 

I really love the theme of the home and garden being a connected, living space with the lines blurred. Page after page of this book dissect how the various gardens have achieved this through careful planning and clever design. A sense of harmony, living with colour, texture and the richness of nature is evident throughout.

It would be easy to see this book just as an inspiring collection of images but it also contains really good advice and information from the stories of the gardens showcased; how they have developed and been cared for by their owners as well as specific sections on colour palettes for the garden and creative ways to make the most of your space. This is further reinforced with ten easy DIY projects for bringing a garden work space to life along with a handy section on practical but stylish finishing touches. 

At the back of a book is a compendium of stylish garden essentials - some iconic pieces, top tools and furniture including of course, the deckchair. No, not ours (boo!) but still, a very handsome one (hooray!). 

Gardenista is a book that I know I'll keep returning to time and time again for garden style inspiration. The timing of its release is great for Christmas presents but about now is also perfect for planning a garden, rearranging and moving shrubs and plants or trying out new ideas ready for showtime next Spring. It is also a great read for all of us that hanker after a little bit of sunshine on dark, dreary days. 

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