Royal Horticultural Society Small Garden Handbook: Making the Most of Your Outdoor Space

Royal Horticultural Society Small Garden Handbook: Making the Most of Your Outdoor Space


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A comprehensive guide to planning, planting and maintaining a small garden.

This in-depth reference packs a lot of information and expert advice into one easy-to-use resource. It is designed to help home gardeners discover the potential in a small piece of land and guide them step-by-step through the process of transforming it into a garden with oversized impact.

The book works forward from planning a garden and making difficult design choices, to installation and maintenance. Each chapter instructs on numerous related topics (such as the examples below) and presents an illustrative case study:

  • Basics - 15 ways to reveal your plot's potential, understanding soil, evaluating hardscaping, making a plan
  • Design - 15 ways to make instant impact, principles of design
  • Styles - 15 ways to find your style, Style Portfolio
  • Materials - 15 ways to exploit materials, simple rules of laying paving, changes of level
  • Boundaries - 15 ways to buff up your boundaries, materials, plants
  • Structures - 15 ways to use garden structures, storage, hideaways, green roofs, raised beds, an outdoor office
  • Water - 15 ways to enjoy water, planning a pond, mirror-like water, dynamic water, plants, fish
  • Planting - 15 ways to improve a planting design, habitats, styles, long-term and short-term, design statements
  • Upkeep - 15 ways to simplify the garden, seasonal and monthly housekeeping tasks.

The book also features an inspirational portfolio of small gardens and provides all the information needed to install these designs. For example, the handy "7 steps to create..." lists cover Japanese, Mediterranean,
Exotic, Ecological, Cottage-garden, Arts and Crafts, Modernist, Conceptualist and Urban gardens.

Small Garden Handbook is ideal for the home gardener. Each of the gardens featured in the book's 300 photographs provides exceptional inspiration for gardeners at all levels of expertise.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781770851924
Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date: 02/26/2013
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Andrew Wilson is an award-winning garden designer of contemporary gardens worldwide. His books include Book of Plans for Small Gardens, and he is the founding editor of The Garden Design Journal.

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK's leading gardening organization, dedicated to advancing horticulture and promoting good gardening.

Steven Wooster is a well-known photographer and artist who specializes in garden photography. He has contributed to dozens of books and publications over a long career.

Table of Contents

Basics 8

15 ways to… reveal your plot's potential 10

Getting to know your plot 12

Measuring your plot 14

Understanding your soil 15

Aspect & climate 17

Getting to know your plants 18

Evaluating your hardscaping 19

Imprinting your style 20

Setting the agenda 22

Case study: A rooftop retreat 26

Design 28

15 ways to… make instant impact 30

Great design opportunities 32

The principles of design 34

How to apply the principles 57

Case study: Screening the views 60

Styles 62

15 ways to… find your style 64

Finding a style of your own 66

Case study: Creating a style 86

Materials 88

15 ways to… exploit materials 90

Materials as design tools 92

How to choose your materials 94

Tackling changes of level 102

Decorating the garden 104

Case study: Mastering materials 108

Boundaries 110

15 ways to… buff up your boundaries 112

Boundary basics 114

Boundary materials 116

Boundary plants 121

Case study: Hardworking boundaries 126

Structures 128

15 ways to… use garden structures 130

Storage 132

Glasshouses & other frames 134

Raised beds 136

Garden rooms 137

Summerhouses & hideaways 138

Garden offices 140

Opportunities for green roofs 142

Case study: Creating privacy & depth 144

Water 146

15 ways to… enjoy water 148

Planning a pond or pool 150

Mirrorlike water 155

Dynamic water 156

Planted water 158

Keeping water clear 160

What about fish? 161

Case study: Wild about water 162

Planting 164

15 ways to… improve your planting design 166

Planting habitats 168

Planting styles 174

Planning for long- and short-term 186

Putting plants together 188

Planting profiles 192

Design exercise: Putting theory into practice 194

Making design statements 197

Planting for reduced maintenance 198

Case study: Planting for privacy 202

Upkeep 204

15 ways to… simplify your gardening 206

Planning your garden's seasonal tasks 208

The productive garden 212

Good housekeeping 216

Case study: The low-maintenance garden 218

Index 220

Acknowledgments 224

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