Michelle Slatalla * Artisan * October 18, 2016 * 400 Pages
Gardenista is all about the outdoor garden. There are a whole lot of inspirational backyard jungles to look at in here, and though they are all gorgeous, this is not a book for the everyman gardener. Most of us are not going to be able to copy these looks. I’m talking about indoor atriums and walled-in courtyards and 25-foot ponds located on sprawling acreage of native grasses and flowers.
Still, the book is stunning and fun to look through. It’s divided into six parts. Part One features inspirational gardens located mostly in California, New York, Massachusetts, and London. Part Two discusses attractive garden color palettes–but, honestly, this felt more like an extension of Part One’s drool-worthy gardens.
Part Three offers ideas on how to elevate outdoor living “rooms,” and shows examples of eat-in kitchens, porches, glamping spaces, and courtyards, among others.
Part Four is a smorgasbord of DIY ideas for making your outdoor spaces more interesting and functional. So, for example, it shows you how to create your own work table and make a rolling container garden. It also suggests projects like installing a dog shower or using a tree branch to hold your hose. There are also more practical ideas relating to hardscape, like creating interesting paths and improving drainage.
Part Five offers a selection of favorite gardening tools and decorations. As a beginning gardener, I found this section to be helpful. (I never knew legit plant misters existed! I’ve been using a ghetto plastic spray bottle this whole time…).
But don’t expect to find specifics on brands or where to conveniently locate certain items. The author does suggest websites for every item listed, but when I visited some of the sites, I found them to be super specific. As in, this company only sells gardening gloves. And that one only sells flower pots. Also, many of the websites aren’t American. So it’s great that you really love that beautiful modern plant stand, but you’re going to have to go through a Finnish website to buy it. Not the most practical for me…
Part Six is a wee little section (by far the shortest of the book) that shares gardening tips from the pros. Despite its brevity, I found it to be useful.
Ultimately, I loved Gardenista. It’s garden eye-candy at its finest. The book is inspirational, though not the most practical for the everyday gardener. Regardless, I still loved looking at these pages and seeing all the prettiness that could be.