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Courtyard Gardens

Courtyard Gardens
Toby Musgrave
Hearst Books
Publication Date: 

cloth, 160 p., $30.00

This dazzling book by garden designer Toby Musgrave has as its subject the enclosed sanctuary, a garden designed to serve as a quiet retreat. The author traces the history of the traditional outdoor garden, providing examples of extant spaces with similar contemporary enclosures. He includes plans and planting lists for those who may wish to replicate classical courtyards, as well as those in contemporary and futuristic styles. In addition to historical sources of inspiration, he observes that a garden may reflect a theme or purpose, as illustrated in the attractive full-color photographs of a broad range of types.

Musgrave explains the various factors that must be considered in designing a courtyard. These include the elements that create the enclosure to those that fill the space. Useful for gardeners is a listing of plants for courtyard gardens. This book is recommended for its in-depth study of the topic, clear literary style, and the broad range of examples that are bound to inspire the reader.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden