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A Pattern Garden: The Essential Elements of Garden Making

By Valerie Easton

Photographs by Jacqueline Koch

Foreword by Suzy Bales

When [Ms. Easton] writes or talks about her own garden ... one is led to believe that even the most rank beginner should just do it: go ahead and decide where that path should go, imagine where it will lead, and what might lie, like a surprise, or a sanctuary, at the end.

Anne Raver, New York Times

A Pattern Garden gives us the tools for creating our own highly satisfying garden spaces. Easton identifies 14 garden patterns that she sees as fundamental to successful design and that will turn any landscape into a memorable and rewarding retreat. This book will help you identify what pleases you, and why, and provide inspiration and direction in the planting and layout of your own garden. Discussions of essential patterns, such as the creation of paths or the incorporation of water into the garden, are complemented by concrete advice about plant selection.

Media reviews

"Ms. Easton has an accessible, down-to-earth style in the book. ... When she writes or talks about her own garden and others, one is led to believe that even the most rank beginner should just do it: go ahead and decide where that path should go, imagine where it will lead, and what might lie, like a surprise, or a sanctuary, at the end."

—Anne Raver, New York Times

"Offers wonderful insight for garden designers as well as those of us who find gardening a relaxing romp through the soil. ... There is a richness of content offering garden lovers a chance to dream, plan, and consider architectural elements as food for thought."

—Kathleen Peabody, Grosse Pointe News

"Along with a wealth of design ideas, Easton gives us insight into why and how these design elements work on the psyche."

—Catriona Tudor Erler, Smith Mountain Laker

"A great gift for any gardener that wants to realize more of the potential of their garden site. I have already started looking at my garden with new 'pattern eyes' and will use the concepts to add that ephemeral enchantment."

—Cheval Force Opp, Washington Gardener

"[Easton] has a clear, approachable writing style that gives even the most novice of gardeners the confidence to apply these patterns to their own gardens."

—Karen Preuss, Pacific Horticulture

"Really makes you take a deeper look at your garden to determine what elements create an inviting, comfortable, and intimate environment."

Bulletin of the California Horticultural Society

"I've never particularly thought about 'patterns' in garden design, but I've now been convinced that they are a fundamental part of the design process. ... This is a book that every designer should have as a reference — it's a wonderful and surprising new take on design concepts that will make every garden a splendid new experience."

—Jane Berger, Garden Design Online

"Provides thoughtful, engaging counsel for the novice gardener and inspiration for the experienced one."

—Deborah Hornblow, Hartford Courant

"I don't recommend many books, but this one I really like. More than a coffee-table picture book of gardens, it provides serious food for thought in landscape planning. ... Photographs in [it] are very attractive."

Grand Rapids Press

"The dry days of June are good for redesigning the garden. For great ideas on the subject, pick up A Pattern Garden."

—Jim McCausland, Sunset

"The book contains the most beautiful prose. It reads almost like poetry. The many photographs by three different artists are stunning, and include various gardens to give context to a chapter's discussion."

—Thomas Mickey, Seacoast Home & Garden magazine

"Easton's design ideas are chosen for a timeless quality: an intimate bower of plants, dappled sunlight, reflection of water, the gentle give of moss underfoot. This is a unique book for contemplative garden design."

Green Bay Press-Gazette

"Val Easton's warm and clear writing style is very familiar, but her subject matter in this book breaks new ground as she applies the architectural concepts of patterns, or putting 'human instincts into words,' to garden settings."

—Brian Thompson, Washington Park Arboretum Bulletin

"Top of the list is Valerie Easton's A Pattern Garden which has all the earmarks of an award-winning classic. ... This is a book to spend time with, and it's one where the text is critically important — don't just look at the pictures. ... A must-read."

—Linda Brazill, Capital Times (Madison)

"Offers an abundance of beautiful photographs and inspiring and well-organized design ideas, but also provides insight into why these things matter. ... Explores garden making as an enlivening process that draws on every aspect of human experience."

—Virginia Small, American Gardener

"With this lusciously photographed book ... [Easton] proves to have a keen design eye. Beautiful and worth reading."

—Jennifer Jewell, Colorado Homes & Lifestyles

"Starts with the complex garden design concepts employed by professionals, and demystifies them for home gardeners. ... Easton's writing is thoughtful and inviting."

—Barbara Lloyd McMichael, Kitsap Sun

"A garden design book that may very well become a classic."

—Karen Preuss, Northwest Garden News

"Easton identifies fourteen garden patterns with innate, universal appeal. She addresses how to use elements of design ... to create spaces that soothe, intrigue, or surprise us. ... Sumptuous accompanying photos will enchant you."

—Maia Eisen, Tacoma East King Trailhead

About the author

Valerie Easton

Valerie Easton is a weekly garden columnist for Pacific Northwest Magazine of The Seattle Times. She has contributed articles on gardens, homes, and the people who make them to a variety of magazines. Valerie trained as a Master Gardener and was for eighteen years the horticultural librarian at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Read more about Valerie Easton

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