Saturday, 23 January 2010

Book review: 1000 Garden Ideas

By Stafford Cliff
Published by Quadrille

Presenting one thousand garden ideas in 208 pages is no easy feat but design consultant and art director Stafford Cliff has successfully accomplished this task. The result is a delightfully glossy paperback book that, once opened, will take you on a journey to the most hidden corners of a garden.

I can easily see this book becoming the bible of many garden designers! This guide is not so much about plants, as you would expect, rather it will help you make those important decisions when it comes to giving your garden a structure, a personality of its own. Although trees and flowers can’t help being in the background of every picture – and there are over a thousand of them – the main stage is taken by gates, tiles, steps, pots, chairs, statues and anything else that you could possibly want for your garden.

The pages come alive with a beautifully arranged jigsaw of photos that the author has personally taken over forty years and that perfectly capture every clever solution spotted by his designer’s eye. You won’t need to struggle ever again to remember what was that caught your attention in that garden you once visited. Stafford Cliff has done all the work for you!

Before leaving the images to do the talking, at the beginning of each section the author briefly explains the main purpose of the item that will be explored and outlines the practical problems that you may encounter or consider when making your choice. He is very clear and concise but, I found, poetic at the same time. You can feel the passion of this talented design consultant as he underlines, time after time, the importance of creativity and inventiveness.

A list of useful suppliers’ addresses completes the volume, which will become one little but essential detail of your book collection. In Mr Cliff’s words, “like a stamp on a letter”!



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