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How to make a Japanese garden

Charles Chesshire
Hermes House
Publication Date: 

Cloth, 64 pp., $8.99.

Garden designer and writer, Charles Chesshire, has studied and traveled in Japan and created a Japanese tea garden at his home in England. This little book lives up to its promise of being beautifully illustrated with 80 photographs showing the various types of gardens, their features and elements, along with a directory of plants for spring, summer and fall. The first section gives the reader an excellent understanding of how the Japanese garden evolved, how various periods in their history changed garden design, and what outside influences had an impact on the design. Chesshire details the distinct features of each type of classic garden, whether a pond, dry, tea, stroll, or courtyard garden. His descriptions of the classic features and elements would assist anyone eager to design such a garden. The illustrations of decorative artifacts and the traditional tsukubai, or water basins, would perhaps allow a gardener to add a small Japanese touch to any space. This is a lovely, accessible book giving the reader insight into a tranquil gardening concept. - Joan Richards, volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden.