Recently in Books Category

August 30, 2014

Source book -

As summer comes to an end we are starting to check out ways to stay out for as long as possible!
We recommend hoping over to

The site has a very good selection for all things outdoors including outdoor fireplaces.


August 2, 2012

For inspiration: Dwell magazine special

Dwell  teamed up with Western Window Systems to select 4 homes from the Dwell archives that  blurred the boundary between indoor and outdoor best.

We enjoyed the read. Read it here:!


Dwell : indoor outdoor spaces.

September 15, 2009

Reading ideas I like this week: Conran, Kennedy and ...

April 6, 2008

Rain gardens - a 'must have' in your brief to a garden designer

Grain17 I have already posted on water harvesting with the HOG or oversized planters. A step up from that is actually designing a garden/outdoor space so it is in itself not a consumer of rain but a harvester.

I now believe the time has come when any garden designer offering to create a garden without this feature or not offering to make the garden productive( ie edible) is very 'out of it' ! And no, I am not even a 'green forefront fighter' ...It just is common sense.It seems vain and ...well vulgar to just want a couple of flowers for the show ?

As the image chosen by the Telegraph shows it can be done in style.
Below you will find the very good review by the Telegraph of a book called 'RAIN gardens' by Nigel Dunnett and Andy Clayden which can be a good place to start thinking about the whole issue.

Continue reading Rain gardens - a 'must have' in your brief to a garden designer.

April 3, 2008

The basic must have book : Outdoors By Sir Terence Conran and Co

I was at the Conran Shop this afternoon on the watch out for a few good ideas. I stumbled up this book. I had never wanted to buy it because the co-author GM designs gardens I do not really love... But as I was in the shop, I sat down and discovered how wrong I had been . The book is totally inspirational. It covers everything and every new option: outdoor fireplaces, kids gardens, Hi tech options, family gardens, party gardens...

It has  a very good section on how to make a productive ( IE G YO ) garden even in the tiniest patch with superb style. Sir Terence Conran was already designing kitchen gardens in 1999 - way before it was in fashion. Bravo Conran!

June 12, 2007

New ways of thinking about pools, spas and hot tubs: Vinny Lee provides the 101

Swimming pools and spas, hot tub, and Jacuzzis are going through a real revolution: new options, new formats, new places to locate them... The book covers all the best novelties including the most innovative finishes .

I love the idea of steel pools (the one she showcases by architect Gunther Weidner will convert more than one!).


January 1, 2007

On trend : green rooftops and living walls

Use of new spaces is certainly a key trend and a massive area for developments such as those you can already check out in the photo album on the right (roof top living) ie : lawns on roofs, roof top lofts but we are also seeing a trend towards mini  farms on urban roof tops ( kids paradise), cinema set ups to entertain on your roof top ...

I 'll keep you posted but here is a good read by  Nigel Dunnett, Noel Kingsbury to get started. Click on names to browse and order.

  • For blue sky thinking on the future uses of rooftops ( not just for property developers...) read SF chronicle article :click here
Continue reading On trend : green rooftops and living walls.

December 30, 2006

Graphic and surprising


Versailles's gardens where built to surprise. I think work by Ron Herman in California carries the thought through to today.

I love what they did for a California private home - to see more: link

I discovered the work in the brilliant book : The New Garden Paradise in which some of the more luxurious gardens in the world are showcased. Fantastic book.

November 5, 2006

Creative lighting

C_l A 101 of lighting today by award winner designer Michele Osborne.

Lighting brings the finishing touch to any garden or landscape. It introduces magic and illusion by enhancing some spaces while leaving others shrouded in mystery. This innovative book reveals the very best and most up-to-date lighting effects as they have been used in contemporary gardens throughout the world. Divided into thematic chapters looking at the different uses and effects of light, the book covers a whole range of lighting styles from simple lanterns and fairy lights to fibreoptics and LEDs, used for garden rooms, patlos, pool areas, decking, pathways, roof gardens, and architectural features and plants. 

November 1, 2006

How modern art and the private garden have merged to create 'The Modern Garden'

Synopsis of a book well worth reading The Modern Garden ( 'The great 20th century artists played an active, if sometimes private, part in the history of the modern garden. From groups such as De Stijl and the arts and crafts movement, to the artist Le Corbusier, the sculptor Isamu Noguchi, the artist Paul Klee and the landscape artist Dan Kilet, major designers have been engaged in a quest for the perfect modern outdoor space. This title researches the history of the modern garden and contains contemporary photographs of 12 modern gardens by two acclaimed garden and landscape photographers from Europe and America, Sofia Brignone and Alan Ward. 050028321401in03_ss400_sclzzzzzzz_v10564_1

Continue reading How modern art and the private garden have merged to create 'The Modern Garden'.

A sense of place by Arne Maynard

Arne Maynard is one of London's elite designers.

Here Arne explains the backbone and the foundation blocks of design, how to find inspiration and how to improve upon what is already in place in your garden.

Continue reading A sense of place by Arne Maynard.

Living Sculpture

Ls_1I think at least some of the furniture bought for outdoors is used more as features rather than destined for use. In such case I think alternatives can be considers as successfully suggested by Paul Cooper in his book: Living sculpture
In recent years a dynamic new generation of artists and gardeners have completely redefined garden sculpture, making plants the focus rather than the backdrop of astonishingly diverse living sculptures. This book draws together some of the best examples from around the world, arranging these eclectic works according to how they were made. With superb colour photography of the sculptures in their natural settings, Living Sculpture overturns preconceptions about what is possible in the context of both gardening and art. Link to amazon : click here
OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Books category.

Art for outdoors is the previous category.

Cooking and entertaining outdoors is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.