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Monday, January 7, 2013

The Layered Garden - a book review and give-away

The number "3" is the lucky winner and that would be Lisa Blair. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Brandywine Cottage is a 2-acre garden in Downington, Pennsylvania created by David Culp and Michael Alderfer. Culp shows how they planned and created this lovely garden by combing their obsessive love of plants in design combinations that provide a succession of peak garden moments throughout the year in their Zone 6 garden.

Situated at the base of a hillside where 20 houses were to be built above his, Culp first planned for privacy and planted a screen of evergreens. This was followed by a series of garden rooms that includes a rose garden, vegetable garden, perennial borders, a driveway gravel garden, a winter garden, hillside garden and a "jewel box" that provides visual interest right outside the front windows.

Culp shares his childhood memories of plants and his grandmother who influenced him and he enthusiastically writes about the plants that he is passionate about. Hellebores are one and he offers tip on how to grow and breed them. Culp is also obsessed with Galanthus (snowdrops) and he grows over 100 different cultivars including one that he successfully propagated and now bears his name. 

The Rose Garden
A chapter on signature plants includes a section for each season and profiles some of Culp's favorites, such as narcissus, iris, lilies, roses, peonies, alliums and hydrangeas. Tips on gardening practicalities, such as dealing with deer, managing weeds,  and using containers, are also included. Culp wraps up with a recommendation of favorite gardening books and his thoughts on beauty in the garden.

The North Border

The book is generously illustrated with photographs taken over a 2 year period by Rob Cardillo.

If you need some gardening inspiration for 2013, this book will do it!


This contest has ended.

Disclosure: Timber Press sent me a free review copy of this book. I read and reviewed it at my own discretion and without any compensation.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


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