Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Tapestry Garden: The Art of Weaving Plants and Place, by Ernie O’Byrne Marietta O’Byrne. Timber Press, 2018

In one of the best growing areas in the US, the Willamette Valley in Oregon, the O’Byrnes have created a wonderful garden- or, perhaps it should be called “gardenS”.  On one and a half acres they have created a garden with several microclimates in it. They have both used existing microclimates and created some of their own- trees they planted when they first got there have matured and created shade gardens. No matter; they are not averse to moving plants when needed. Or, for that matter, moving tons of soil amendments and rocks.

It amazes me how they have done this garden; when they first arrived, they gardened for other people as a profession. Then they started a nursery. As someone who has done both those things, I have a great deal of respect for anyone who can do those things AND find the energy for doing what they have done!

The books chapters are the different zones in their garden: kitchen garden, chaparral, shady border, rockeries, conifer & heather, the woods. There is also a chapter on the garden in autumn and winter, and the last chapter is on caring for the garden. There are wonderful pictures that make me long to see the garden. Except for the last chapter, it’s not a how-to gardening book, but more of a ‘this is what you can do’ book of inspirations; there is a section on how to deal with pretty much any situation your garden has. It was a wonderful book to read this winter to make me long for spring.

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