Backyard Blueprints – A Book Review

Spring has certainly come to London over the past few days. There really is nothing quite like a little bit of sunshine to lift the mood. I finally managed to get back out into the garden and discovered that what I thought was a slightly overgrown patch of ivy was actually a thriving mass of plant which had begun to attack my home. Spring bulbs, pulmonaria and hellebores are all bringing the borders to life. Meanwhile, the succulents for the wedding are growing quickly now that a few hours of extra sun are on them. As an aside, Columbia Road Flower Market is useless if you’re looking for succulents. So far, if you’re looking for healthy and affordable plants that you can split and propagate, Kew Gardens is, by far, the best option.

I have LOTS occurring this year, including a move. Whilst I’d love a tiny house on a huge plot of land, I’m not quite at that level of wealth yet, and so I’ll be moving from a postage stamp BACKYARD BLUEPRINTSgarden to a slightly larger suburban garden. With that in mind, I’ve been seeking inspiration. And for this, a new book by David Stevens and published by Jaqui Small ( | @JacquiSmallPub) has been ideal.

Let’s face it – most of us don’t have the vast gardens that so many garden books cater towards. Yes, these gardening bibles suggest to simply scale down the size of borders for smaller spaces, but that really doesn’t work because it’s not space efficient. That’s why I’ve really fallen for ‘backyard blueprints‘ in a big way; it’s a tome of fantastic ideas that can easily be put into the regular ol’ garden plot. You could copy an entire garden plan, or just pick out highlights to make your tiny garden not only seem bigger, but become a place you really want to explore and live in.

The other thing, as the name suggests, is that the book provides some interesting blueprints to work from. There are three distinct sections; those on design, furnishing and planting. Each has tips to work from and beautiful images which could prove inspirational. Say, perhaps, you have a garden plan in mind but want to incorporate lighting or a working space. Simply pop to the ‘Blueprints for Furnishing‘ section and, hey presto, here are some ideas. The same is true for advice on plant texture and colour, or choosing materials to best suit your needs.

I’ve really become quite enthralled with this book. Perhaps its the imagery, or perhaps that fact that I’ll be moving within a year to a new blank garden to fill. When I moved to my current suburban house, I built the garden from scratch. But that was 13 years ago; I didn’t know nearly as much about gardening as I do now. To get my hands on a new plot is extremely exciting and I know, that amongst my toolkit, I’ll be armed with this goodie of a book.

Backyard Blueprints is available in March 2014, for £20 in hardback. However, you can also order for just £16 including P&P. To do this, simply ring 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code APG91.

Alternatively, send a cheque made payable to:

Littlehampton Book Services Mail Order Department
Littlehampton Book Services
PO Box 4264,
Worthing, West Sussex
BN13 3RB.

Please quote the offer code APG91 and include your name and address details.
*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

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I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.