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The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage

By David L. Culp

With Adam Levine

Photographs by Rob Cardillo

Spellbinding writing and Cardillo's breathtaking photos entice readers through Culp's woodland garden. An essential title in the 'how I did it' genre of garden writing.

Library Journal

Brandywine Cottage is David Culp's beloved two-acre Pennsylvania garden where he mastered the design technique of layering — interplanting many different species in the same area so that as one plant passes its peak, another takes over. The result is a nonstop parade of color that begins with a tapestry of heirloom daffodils and hellebores in spring and ends with a jewel-like blend of Asian wildflowers at the onset of winter.

The Layered Garden shows you how to recreate Culp's majestic display. It starts with a basic lesson in layering — how to choose the correct plants by understanding how they grow and change throughout the seasons, how to design a layered garden, and how to maintain it. To illustrate how layering works, Culp takes you on a personal tour through each part of his celebrated garden: the woodland garden, the perennial border, the kitchen garden, the shrubbery, and the walled garden. The book culminates with a chapter dedicated to signature plants for all four seasons.

As practical as it is inspiring, The Layered Garden will provide you with expert information gleaned from decades of hard work and close observation. If you thought that a four-season garden was beyond your reach, this book will show you how to achieve that elusive, tantalizing goal.

Media reviews

"So imaginative is Culp's genius and so resourceful his passion for plants and design that his layered garden offers more sensory delights per square foot than most gardens manage to achieve over acres."

Booklist

"Offers the perfect blend of inspiration and practical advice. Readers will come away with plenty of ideas and guidance to create their own layered, four-season gardens wherever they live."

American Gardener

"This is one for your must read list ... and it would make a wonderful gift for anyone who loves plants and gardens."

A Charlotte Garden

"I love the book. ... It teaches us how to design and maintain a complex, layered garden."

—Susan Harris, Garden Rant

"Spellbinding writing and Cardillo's breathtaking photos entice readers through Culp's woodland garden. An essential title in the 'how I did it' genre of garden writing."

Library Journal

"Culp shares the beauty of Brandywine and some of his garden-design secrets."

McClatchy-Tribune News

"If you are planning to design or redesign a space next spring and summer, this is a wonderful guide to choose."

Northern Gardener

"A visual feast of inspiration combined with practical advice on how to put together a garden that shines throughout the year. A great winter read."

Detroit News

"A good choice for people trying to correct their jumbled mess of a landscape."

Harrisburg Patriot-News

About the author

David L. Culp

Along with his partner, Michael Alderfer, David Culp is the creator of the gardens at Brandywine Cottage in Downington, Pennsylvania. His articles have appeared in Country Living, Fine Gardening, Green Scene, and many other publications. He is a contributing editor to Horticulture magazine and served as chairman of the Middle Atlantic Hardy Plant Society.

Read more about David L. Culp

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