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The Artful Garden: Creative Inspiration for Landscape Design
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The Artful Garden: Creative Inspiration for Landscape Design

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  68 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
“I want to put the mystery back into the heart of garden design, where it needs to be. It’s what lures you in through the gate, keeps you moving through the landscape, and fills you with excitement along the way. The sense of mystery is what turns a mere display of plants, paths, and ornaments into an adventure.”                          
—James van Sweden

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Hardcover, 188 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Random House
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Aug 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: house-and-yard
Having trouble making progress on this because there is always a cat in my lap when I get up and have coffee!
Today I did get to read some and laughed out loud at how the author made his point about too many plants in a garden.
You know how you get up every day and your garden is different from the day before? This author compares a garden to the performance of a dance- it's there and then it's gone, and you have to be present to witness it.
I have wondered if I imagine how many changes occur i
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, garden
This is the most challenging garden design book I have ever read! Do you love to garden? Are you an art lover who immerses yourself in paintings, photography, and sculpture? If the answer to both questions is yes than this book is for you. James Van Sweden will challenge you to use what you know about art in your garden design. Line, texture, color are pretty normal elements but how often do you consider shadow in your design? This is a book to think about, one whose concepts will challenge you ...more
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: garden
Abandon hope, all ye who enter here. One look at Van Sweden's designs and it's likely you will know nothing but despair. If you're like me, you'll want to mow/burn/bulldoze your garden and start over completely after having read this book.

The Artful Garden is not the book for gardeners who want ideas for fluffing up their suburban backyard, and the author makes that clear from the start. It is a landscape design book and if you happen to be in possession of a few acres (and perhaps a striking m
Mar 27, 2011 rated it liked it
In this book the author disucusses art such as painting, tapestries, music, and scultpure and how we can learn from them and be inspired by them in our garden design. Personally I enjoyed the sculpture section where he talks about negative and positive space. There were parts that I didn't really understand what he was talking about, I think it would be easier to understand if I was able to visit the garden examples he was talking about.
Jan 17, 2016 added it
A delightful book exploring the interchange between the other arts and design. The interviews with other artists and designers were interesting and, at times, noteworthy. This book would be worth it alone for the images - a thorough visual treat!
Jackson Matthews
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Although the pictures are lovely and text reads well, it is a book made more for people with very large areas of land to landscape, so my paltry triangle felt inadequate ... maybe someday if we expand to take over the whole neighborhood or something .... but it IS lovely.
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely scrumptious read. If you can't get to a beautiful garden read about them! You will be stepping into the pages of perennials, quiet walks....
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good ideas for a variety of spaces involving ways to plan and avoid making mistakes (which we all do).
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
loved the mix of architecture mixed w/art works in this book. a wonderful way to explore your own creativity compared to others. loved it.
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Describes using the processes of the fine arts (painting, sculpting, writing, dancing ....) as inspiration in landscape design.
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