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Outdoor Living Book Review

With the economic downturn, there is more interest than ever in fixing up our backyards. Even if we can’t afford expensive vacations, we can create garden retreats for relaxation and rest. One way to do this is to create outdoor rooms. There are a number of books on the subject. Here is a review of one that is among my favorites.

“Courtyards for Modern Living-Contemporary Outdoor Spaces” is by Stephen Crafti. It was released by the Images Publishing Group. This title is a must-have especially for those living in warm climates. It is illustrated with 400 lush color photos.

In this informative title, the author profiles around 50 stunning gardens. There are designs here to suit every taste and every climate. The styles range from ultra-modern to minimalist and traditional. Some of these designs have a zen-like appeal. The emphasis in all of these gardens is the intimate connection between the indoors and outdoors.

Readers will also appreciate the fact that these garden designers frequently use earth-friendly materials, such as sustainable and recycled materials, as well as ecologically sensitive design approaches. Readers will find innovative ideas on landscaping, such as the use of native species and drought resistant plants, and capturing rainwater for landscape use.

There are ideas here for different climates. Those living in dry areas will like the succulent garden in particular. Readers will also find design solutions for challenging sites and situations, such as slopes and banks.

In the introduction the author looks at current garden design trends and compares this with the past. He explores how this has changed in recent decades. He also discusses the various changes, such as the de-emphasis of lawns.

For each garden, there is an in-depth garden profile. The profiles provide a background and complete details on the designer and the landscape. The author carefully explains the guiding principles behind each design. He highlights all of the different garden features. This book also includes insider’s tips for each garden from the designer/architect.

With all the exquisite photos, readers can enjoy a virtual tour of the home and garden. There are also blueprints and drawings of the designs. From the garden profiles, gardeners will get ideas on how to design their own backyards.

The appendix has contact information for the architects that created the designs.

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