Book Review – My Garden is a Car Park and other Design Dilemmas by Kendra Wilson

Book Review – My Garden is a Car Park and other Design Dilemmas by Kendra Wilson


When I was asked to review this book I was unsure if it would appeal to me, you see my garden has not changed much since I moved in over 10 years ago, I’ve moved the odd slab about, widened a couple of existing beds,  put up 2 new greenhouses, and dug out and replanted several areas, but I’ve not done what you might call any actual ‘designing’.

This book is not about how to build, but a book of ideas.  I like ideas.

As the Author has stated in the Introduction “This Book is a garden tour with notes and pictures, sharing the surprisingly simple ideas that can solve complex dilemmas”.

The style of the book is in effect a series of questions imagined by the reader, which are  then answered by the author.

The book starts with what you might call the bigger statements such as “My garden is too small, my garden is too long and narrow, and the ever perennial issue that is “I’ve spent all my money on the house”.

Questions are delt with throughout.
Questions are dealt with throughout.

The Author then sets about making suggestions in relation to the issue stated, for example for the issue “my garden is too small” this is dealt with all the positives in relation to having  a small garden, such as no real need to include a lawn, simplifying the use of materials and even suggesting Cottage Gardening as a suitable style for such a small space.

There are 136 pages of problems covered in this book, and each question and suggested answer is complimented with a picture illustrating the suggestions.

Beautiful pictures throughout.
Beautiful pictures throughout.

I really like this book as it has already given me several simple ideas to issues I believed I had in my garden, the book gives me the sense that my issues are actually not that bad  really and easily remedied, that dark corner I have, the bit of my garden overseen by the neighbours I don’t really like, the really dry bit of garden I have. Solutions and suggestions for all these areas I’ve found answers for in this book.

Other suggestions at the bottom of each page..
Other suggestions at the bottom of each page..

The book is nicely set out, and is suitable for dipping in and out of, it could be ready from end to end as a whole, or just looking up specific dilemmas and solutions.

At the bottom of each page and at the end of each dilemma that is dealt with, there is reference to similar problems and solutions throughout the book.

The book easy to navigate, nice pictures, lots of ideas, information of useful terms used in Horticulture, a page of resources which include details of the RHS, The Hardy Plant Society, and Garden Organic amongst others.

There is a detailed section on the  Photo Credits and a small section called voices in which  Writers whose ideas help influence the sections in this book are highlighted which I thought was a nice touch.

I think this book would suit a beginner looking for answers, and experienced gardeners looking for inspiration, it was certainly a nice inspirational read on a rainy day.

 My Garden is a Car Park and other Design Dilemmas is published by Laurence King Publishers.

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