Planting a Seed: Pick up new titles geared toward backyard growing

Take It Outside

By Mel Brasier, Garrett Magee and James DeSantis

On the Bravo TV show Backyard Envy, these landscape designers transform unassuming properties into showstoppers. Their new book breaks down their philosophy—based on applying interior design principles to exterior spaces—and makes it practical. “There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to landscape design,” they write. “You just need to understand a few basic landscaping principles. The goal is to experience your home in a different way—from the outside in.”

Becoming a Gardener

By Catie Marron

With a subhead like “What Reading and Digging Taught Me About Living,” you know this is not your typical gardening how-to manual. Instead, former Vogue contributing editor Catie Marron explains how she turned her Connecticut house into a true home by beginning outdoors. She shares her shortcomings and successes with equal reflection. “Planting a garden takes time, more than you’d first guess,” she muses. “Where I started off learning to garden, I now garden to learn.”

Southern Gardening All Year Long

By Gary R. Bachman

When down-to-earth details are what a gardener needs, Mississippi horticulturist Gary Bachman’s guide is a sensible companion to bringing forth beautiful blooms. The book spells out what to plant, what to fertilize and what to prune as the calendar pages turn. Ready to start this month? May is perfect for planting basil or creating a mini garden around the mailbox. “Gardens are never static,” Bachman writes, “so gardeners never sit still for long.”

The Elegant and Edible Garden

By Linda Vater

For many home growers, there are pretty flowerbeds, and then there is the vegetable garden. But garden designer Linda Vater proclaims that beauty and bounty can coexist. Exhibit A: her own backyard, where a kitchen garden takes on a formal design with ribbons of boxwood separating beds. “Think of it as the best kind of horticultural symbiosis,” Vater writes, “where the end results are far more spectacular to the eye, the palate and your life than the sum of their parts.”