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Front Yard Gardens


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About the Author

Liz Primeau was a gardening magazine journalist for 30 years and now gives regular lectures on gardens and garden design, including a special presentation on front yard gardens. She has led many gardening seminars and is a featured speaker at gardening events. Liz Primeau is the founding editor of Canadian Gardening magazine and host of her own television program.


This substantial book takes a refreshing look at front gardens, an aspect of gardening that hasn't been covered well enough in recent years. Primeau, a well-known Canadian garden writer and television host, tells how she began her own front garden and then introduces us to over 70 other gardens in a variety of styles and settings. She conveys perfectly the spirit of each gardener as she describes his or her yard, challenges, successes, and neighborhood relations. Filled with practical ideas, Primeau's encouraging text is liberally supplemented by lush photos from veteran photographer Leyerle, who has his own front garden. Brief introductory chapters discuss the history and environmental costs of traditional lawns. Though most of the gardens featured are in the northern zones, this book will be valuable for all gardeners for its unique focus, innovative ideas, and design tips. It nicely complements Jeni Webber's Taunton's Front Yard Idea Book, which is organized by specific design challenges and tasks rather than by garden styles. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [Garden Book Club main selection.]-Bonnie Poquette, Shorewood P.L., WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Primeau, founding editor of Canadian Gardening magazine, posits that a perfect lawn may not always be a good thing, arguing that well-manicured lawns are high-maintenance, chemical-dependent water guzzlers; she would be happy to see them all replaced by the flower gardens so often relegated to the back yards of urban and suburban houses. Starting with the luxuriant display of flowers, foliage plants, and shrubs in her own front yard in Toronto, she discusses more than 70 front yard gardens, most of them in Canada but some in Texas, Arizona, California and Wisconsin. She divides these front yard gardens into eight types-cottage, small city, opulent, minimalist, fusion (some grass allowed), natural, neighborhood and secret-and shows in text and photographs how they were designed, how they reflect the personalities of their owners, and what plants were used. There can be obstacles to such gardens in cities and suburbs-neighbors' objections, local regulations, overhead and underground wires, bad drainage, and hard surfaces-and she describes how many people have overcome these problems. Unfortunately, Primeau doesn't include among the many splendid photographs in the book any that show how one of these colorful gardens would stand out in the context of a block where all the other houses are fronted with carpets of grass. But this is a small matter. The book is handsome, informative and amusingly written, and it should serve as an inspiration to those who are tired of old-fashioned lawns. 240 color photographs. Garden Book Club and Country Home & Garden Book Club selection. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

The photographs are delightful and the text is written in informative and heartfelt prose.--Sylvia Jenkins"Central Coast Adventures" (01/01/2003)
A well-written 232 pages, the authors knows of what she writes, having been there, done that and showcasing the landscaping to prove it.--Ian Munt"Sudbury Star" (04/03/2007)
It's a gorgeous book.--Mairi MacLean"Edmonton Journal" (06/21/2007)
Help in rejuvenating a front yard so that flowers, foliage, textures, and hardscaping come together in inviting swaths to both beautify and benefit the environment.--Alice Joyce"Booklist" (05/01/2003)
Wonderfully literate.--Laurie Grassi"Style at Home Magazine" (06/01/2003)
Turn your yard into an earth-friendly showstopper.--Bonnie Schiedel"Chatelaine" (05/01/2003)
Very good.--Jamaica Kincaid"New York Times Book Review" (06/01/2003)
More than 70 examples of the kinds of front yard plans others have come up with, and a how-to manual that gives extensive lists of plants.--Verne Clemence"Saskatoon Star Phoenix" (04/12/2003)
Will inspire homeowners to contemplate the use of flowers, shrubs, trees, ornamental grasses and creatively placed paths as the mainstay of their home's curbside beauty.--Patty Jessome"Edmonton Sun" (03/29/2003)
Excellent primer on the rewards and challenges of starting a yard garden.--James Grainger"Quill and Quire" (05/01/2003)
The results will not only look superb, but will require no chemicals and take far less time and water to maintain.--Ken Smith"London Free Press" (07/12/2003)
Showcases more than 70 gardens from around the country that tackle the challenge of front yard design from a variety of perspectives.--Rita Pelczar"American Gardener" (10/15/2003)
With so many great photos of front yard gardens, this book provides a great motivation to rip out grass in your front lawn.--Janice Kreider"GrowingEdibles.com" (11/25/2008)
Very well written and illustrated book... thousands of ideas.-- (12/13/2003)
I've just finished reading [this book], and I've got to say I'm feeling excited and inspired. I should also mention that this makes my husband more than a little nervous.-- (06/27/2003)
[Primeau] provides more than 200 photographs of examples where lawns were ripped up and replaced with free-flowing, more environmentally friendly (and prettier) plants.--HGTV.com (06/19/2003)
Offers another compelling reason for putting flowers out front: Flowers look good... the concepts and how-tos for eight gardening styles are helpful.-- (12/20/2003)
Inspirational ... great tips on how to plant so your garden doesn't clash with the neighborhood.-- (04/26/2003)
Alternatives to lawns ... from cactus austerity to full-blooming exuberance.-- (07/01/2003)
Wonderful photographs... a range of designs from minimalist to lush jungle to a swath of native grasses.-- (08/09/2003)
Great photographs ... full of interesting ideas on ways to take a different approach to an often blah and boring space.-- (05/17/2003)
All the tips and photographs prove that you can keep off the grass -- step by step -- with style.-- (07/01/2003)
I love this book... Primeau is a terrific writer and gardener, and this marvelous book just might inspire and guide you into a whole new level (and area) of gardening.-- (10/31/2003)
[Starred review] This substantial book takes a refreshing look at front yard gardens ... Filled with practical ideas, Primeau's encouraging text is liberally supplemented by lush photos ... Highly recommended.-- (05/15/2003)
Visually compelling book, full of varied design suggestions.--Canadian House and Home (06/01/2003)
The book is handsome, informative and amusingly written, and it should serve as an inspiration to those who are tired of old-fashioned lawns.--Publishers Weekly (02/17/2003)
Conversational text and lovely photography by Andrew Leyerle make this edition an interesting choice for home gardeners.--Phoenix Home and Garden (09/01/2003)
For an in-depth look at designing, Front Yard Gardens, Growing More Than Grass by Liz Primeau is a thorough guide to a splendid collection of gardens. Although it is primarily for non-edible gardens, it provides helpful planning tips.-- (02/01/2009)
{Review listing of great gardening books] A witty and very well written volume that offers so much more than just details on basic gardening... a must for anyone who wants to create impact and dazzling color in their front (and back) yard gardens.-- (11/25/2005)
The green green grass of home doesn't interest Liz Primeau. She's a front yard rebel and proud of it. Her 65 by 40-foot lawn is long gone, replaced by a gregarious gathering of vibrant vegetation -- fabulous flowers, cacti, shrub and small trees. The results are spectacular.-- (05/02/2009)

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