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A Tapestry Garden: The Art of Weaving Plants and Place

By Ernie O’Byrne and Marietta O’Byrne

Photographs by Doreen Wynja

Full of unexpected plant combinations in various microclimates to bookmark for your own garden.

Better Homes and Gardens

Marietta and Ernie O’Byrne’s garden—situated on one and a half acres in Eugene, Oregon—is filled with an incredible array of plants from around the world. By consciously leveraging the garden’s many microclimates, they have created a stunning patchwork of exuberant plants that is widely considered one of America’s most outstanding private gardens. In A Tapestry Garden, the O’Byrnes share their deep knowledge of plants and essential garden advice. Readers will discover the humble roots of the garden, explore the numerous habitats and the plants that make them shine, and find inspiration in photography that captures the garden’s astonishing beauty. There is something here for every type of gardener: a shade garden, perennial borders, a chaparral garden, a kitchen garden, and more. Profiles of the O’Byrne’s favorite plants—including hellebores, trilliums, arisaemas, and alpine plants—include comprehensive growing information and tips on pruning and care. A Tapestry Garden captures the spirit of a very special place.

Media reviews

"Full of unexpected plant combinations in various microclimates to bookmark for your own garden."

Better Homes and Gardens

"If you come to A Tapestry Garden looking for a quick how-to on landscape design, you won't find it. What you will find, however, is much more delightful—a down-to-earth garden memoir suffused with the wisdom of time."

Inlander

"This book is the story of two people following a life-long dream: to live in the natural world and earn a living from it, to create landscapes of impossible beauty.…​there is something in this book for everyone, and it's one of the most inspiring garden stories you'll ever read."

Garden Design Online

"A beautiful partnership that created a spectacular garden."

American Gardener

"[Starred review] Illustrated with full-page landscape photos as well as detail shots, and the photography pairs well with the authors’ ruminative prose, which describes the garden and the thinking that governed its evolution.…​every green thumb can find inspiration in this stunning and imaginatively cultivated garden."

Publishers Weekly

"Beautiful photography.…​full of plants from around the world."

Garden Design

"A love letter and practical plant guide."

Oregonian

"This is a love story about a couple and their relationship with an acre-and-a-half of land…​with exceptional plant descriptions that read like character references for old friends.…​Beautiful photographs and prose await."

Library Journal

"The plants and the devotion to them define this garden. The tapestry in the title is a reference to the interwoven nature of the countless flora. But the tapestry is also, clearly, a place threaded by time and by the lives of its creators."

Washington Post

"These authors have a refined eye for a good plant and a good planting association, so the revelations along the journey through their borders are full of insight and inspiration…​revealed with beautiful photography and carry-you-along writing. As the book walks us through their garden, ideas come flooding out and if, as I did, you use a sticky note to mark every interesting planting you’ll soon be unable to close the book."

The Garden

"Packed with interesting anecdotes and a zillion plant ideas. Plus, the photos are alluringly beautiful."

The Cultivated Life

"Home-garden enthusiasts looking for ideas will enjoy reading about the motivations and philosophies behind the gradual creation of these spaces and will appreciate the lessons learned and the plant-care advice."

Booklist

"The fascinating story of a tireless and simpatico couple, a pair of gardeners who have spent more than 40 years assembling a mind-boggling collection of plants and installing them in unexpected, sometimes truly revolutionary, combinations.…​Throughout the book we are offered useful tidbits and advice ... [and] informative sections on specific plants such as Arisaemas; trilliums; bulbs, corms, tubers, and rhizomes; and hellebores.…​remarkably cheery and philosophical."

Gardenista

About the authors

Ernie O’Byrne

Ernie O’Byrne is the co-owner of Northwest Garden Nursery in Eugene, Oregon. Formerly a retail nursery specializing in unusual plants, it is now a wholesale nursery specializing in hellebores. Along with his wife, Ernie keeps a garden renowned for its stunning combinations and variety of habitats. You can visit the nursery’s website at www.northwestgardennursery.com.

Read more about Ernie O’Byrne

Marietta O’Byrne

Marietta O’Byrne is the co-owner of Northwest Garden Nursery in Eugene, Oregon. Formerly a retail nursery specializing in unusual plants, it is now a wholesale nursery specializing in hellebores. Along with her husband, Marietta keeps a garden renowned for its stunning combinations and variety of habitats. She speaks regularly to audiences of passionate gardeners and has written for a number of gardening publications. You can visit the nursery’s website at www.northwestgardennursery.com.

Read more about Marietta O’Byrne

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