Private Gardens of the Pacific Northwest

Gibbs Smith. Aug. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9781423654971. $50. GARDENING
Coleman, an M.D. and editor-at-large for Old House Journal, teams up with commercial photographer Wright to take readers on a tour of 20 private gardens in the Pacific Northwest. Sixteen of the featured gardens are in the Puget Sound region; four from the Portland metropolitan area. A variety of garden styles are represented: peaceful, whimsical, formal, Japanese-inspired. Each garden is portrayed in a three- to six-page spread with colorful photographs, descriptions of the garden, and descriptions of its specific plants. There are a wide variety of plants (native and non-native species) in the gardens, including ferns, cactuses, hydrangeas, bonsai, topiary, and edibles. The various landscaping elements include stumps, rockery, salvage, garden art, unique hardscaping, koi ponds, water features, and even a treehouse. The majority of the book’s gardens are large, including a particularly expansive multi-acre garden that operates as a wedding venue, though one garden is a compact city plot.
VERDICT Browsing through this lushly illustrated book is like spending a day exploring secret spaces. Most readers won’t be able to cultivate dream gardens like these, but anyone will be able to find inspiration for their own garden here.
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