I’m a subscriber and regular reader of the Gardenista blog, from where this book originates, so I am a bit surprised I hadn’t heard about it earlier. A quick trip to the web site of my local library and within minutes I had the book on my Kindle, ready for reading.
The introduction of Gardenista states, “We believe gardens matter. So does your patio, your porch, your front stoop, or the sunny windowsill outside your apartment window. The proof is everywhere: treating the outdoors as a natural extension of living space makes you happier.” Perhaps this why I enjoy the blog so much. It matches much to my own philosophy. Even my imperfect little patch is often a source of joy, even if I wish it looked a bit tidier or flashy sometimes.
Gardenista is divided into several sections, including Thirteen Gardens We Love (And Why They Work), The Gardenista 100 — a resource guide of important products and links created by the writers — and much more. The book is artfully illustrated with appropriate and useful photos clearly showing the highlighted gardens and products and the examples they provide.
My favorite sections of the book included the wonderful look at Thirteen Gardens which take up a large section of the book. These excellent real-world examples are always one of my favorite ways to get new ideas for my own garden. For me, it is so much more useful to see ideas, plants and decor in actual use than carefully arranged in a garden show or in print. Each garden gives a detailed account of the best ideas from each garden and how you might use that idea in your own garden.
The Gardenista 100 is a great resource guide, containing some interesting products and sources so you can buy each for your very own. Sure some of them will be a tad too expensive for you and me, but perhaps we can locate more inexpensive alternatives while still making the best of the recommendations. My only fear with putting a resource guide into print these days is that it might quickly go out of date, rendering a significant portion of the book moot in a few years. That said, the ideas still stand as great examples, even if the particular products are no longer available.
The writing of Gardenista is accessible and portrays a love for gardening in all its forms — whether that be plants, hardscape, design or decor. Whether you are looking to improve your garden or your home, Gardenista is certainly worth a look and a read.