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The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  13 reviews
North America's eastern half, roughly from the Midwest to the Atlantic, was once a great deciduous forest. Although centuries of human intervention have cleared much of the land, the timeless forest remains in the spirit of the place. Today, even the shortest period of human neglect allows for the resurgence of the process of forest creation. The greatest gardens — and hap ...more
Hardcover, 378 pages
Published August 15th 2002 by Timber Press (first published August 1st 2002)
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Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An incredible garden resource, and just so soothing to look at.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My favorite was Chapter 2: Learning From A Woodland Stream, which covered more than a year of changes in a specific area through sequential photographs. The photos in this book really pulled me in. Truly wonderful.
Steven McKay
I love forests. I love this book. I have given this book to several people who live in the eastern US. The author has a wonderful way of getting the reader to think anout the colors present in native forests beyond showy flowers. A very skilled photographer, Darke does a remarkable job of getting the reader excited about subtlety. My review is crap, but the book is a keeper.
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The American Woodland Garden lists over 120 plants found in American forests, with beautiful photos throughout the whole hefty volume. I also liked the introductory chapters about forest aesthetic, with photos of the same location taken at various times of year, and a chapter on created woodland gardens.
May 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: naturalist
Excellent resource! If you are wanting a natural woodland garden, this is the book for you. Gorgeous photos of all the desirable native woodland plants in several locations and seasons. A great read as well as a resource to return to over and over.
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great perspective & information for people who need to garden in the shade. Takes a very long-term view of the process. Would have liked more practical info for the plants described in the 2nd half.
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: land-arch
All the stars! So inspiring!
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: garden-books

I love this book! I love to browse through the wonderful pictures of gardens – Rick Darke’s own home garden, his previous gardens, gardens at Longwood (where he is employed), gardens he passes on his way to work. I love to read about how and why he has designed gardens as he has, the processes and the serendipity that shape his work. The plant section at the end is incredibly useful, with wonderful pictures, and information that sounds like a conversation with a gardener instead of a passage fro
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature, garden
This is a great idea and inspiration book for those in the Eastern U.S. wanting to design a native woodland garden.

It consists of blurbs on individual native plants that work well in designed gardens together with garden design principles and aesthetics. Darke first tells about his experience regularly observing a certain woodland scene over a long period of time (and photographing it) to get a sense of the woods and their change over time.

The book is well written, and contains a huge number of
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lifestyle
Excellent. I checked this out at the library while re-referencing The Living Landscape (Tallamy and Darke). It was interesting to see the earlier photos of Darke's home garden versus the photos presented in The Living Landscape. Darke may be guilty of waxing poetic at times, but I personally enjoyed his enthusiasm for the subtle beauty of woodlands that most people are predisposed to underappreciate because of perceived "messiness." ...more
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A re-read. Horticulturalist and photographer Rick Darke's award winning classic is an enduring tribute to American woodlands.
Written when the American native plant movement was still in its infancy, Darke's advice is as sound today as it was then.
A must read for anyone who wants to create a woodland garden, or, for anyone who loves woods.
Jul 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Pretty the photos are inspiring.
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Lorraine Ballato
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Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Another wonderful book from Timber Press. I was thrilled to find this on the free books table at my library. Timber Press books are the best reference resources for landscaping ideas and now I have my own. Yeah!
Richard Sutton
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