Book review - The Essential Garden Design Workbook

Lockdown is a great time to read and skill up, and for anyone wanting to learn more about garden design, this bestselling classic gives you a thorough grounding in the subject.  This is the third update to Rosemary Alexander’s original book in which she collaborates with Rachel Myers and covers computer-aided- design as well as hand drawing.

Having set up the English Gardening School in 1983, Rosemary Alexander is well-versed in teaching and this book has the feel of doing a professional garden design course, taking you systematically through the process of garden design from site surveys and analysis, through developing a design by looking at abstract shapes, using a grid and positive and negative shapes, to choosing materials and presentation.

There’s an excellent section on vertical elements such as pergolas as well as a useful chapter on planting plans.  This is not a design book full of glossy aspirational images, but a useful and comprehensive workbook, whether you want to do design professionally, design your own garden or employ someone else to do it.

3rd Edition by Rosemary Alexander and Rachel Myers, Timber Press