Design Your Own Garden Toolkit
Reviewed by Hannah Apricot Eckberg
For those new to designing gardens or looking for ways to integrate children into the learning experience, Design Your Own Garden Toolkit offers a creative way to strategize a garden’s look and feel. With 150 full-color reusable cling stickers that can be arranged and rearranged on a provided design board, you are invited to try different variations of how plants will look at maturity, before the commitment of time, money, and energy of planting. Spotlights on 128 plants with their climatic zones, average size when full grown, light preference, flower’s seasons, and a brief description of each, invites the reader to get to know the flora world in a fun new way.
This book taught me how to use the golden ratio to estimate a plant’s need of space as it grows, the physiology of color, and how to use color effectively. Michelle Gervais brings 15 years experience as an editor for Fine Gardening magazine to guide the reader through careful thought and application of a design process. As a permaculture enthusiast, I wish she had included more edible perennials. I hope that her next book applies the same fun technique of teaching, but with an emphasis on plants for food. This book will however still be a great learning tool for those applying permaculture principles. I even altered a few stickers to represent plants I more commonly use in my permaculture designs, such as Pigeon Pea. This book is a great tool to unlock the imagination and get you playing with relationships of plants.
Hannah Apricot Eckberg is co-founder of PMNA and the Fair Share Foundation.