Book Review – Garden Design Solutions: Ideas for Outdoor Spaces

Garden Design Solutions: Ideas for Outdoor Spaces
By Stephen Woodhams
ISBN: 978-1-910254-02-8
Published by Jacqui Small LLP.

Garden Design Solutions: Ideas for Outdoor Spaces by Stephen Woodhams is published by Jacqui Small LLP.
Garden Design Solutions: Ideas for Outdoor Spaces by Stephen Woodhams is published by Jacqui Small LLP.

Stephen Woodhams is an award winning garden designer, he has over 25 years experience of designing gardens in the Mediterranean, the USA, the Middle East, Mauritius and in the UK, including two Gold, and three Silver Medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  Garden Design Solutions: Ideas for Outdoor Spaces is Stephen’s latest book where he shares some of his most recent designs for outdoor living, featuring gardens from different countries and climates, together with advice to help the reader plan their outdoor living space.

Garden Design Solutions is ideal for anyone looking to redesign their garden, or even their house and garden, as this book will help you to think about both!  If you’re looking to blend the outdoors and indoors, and maximise your entertaining area, this book will help you.  Stephen’s designs that feature in Garden Design Solutions, display his signature ‘inside/outside’ concept for design, and will provide a great source of inspiration and information for anyone looking to create a contemporary, outdoor living space.  If you’re looking to create a more traditional garden with the emphasis on creating a vegetable garden, an orchard, a meadow garden, or other garden, where the garden and plants themselves will be the main feature, consideration and priority, this book is not for you.  Garden Design Solutions is ideally suited to those looking to maximise the appearance of their outdoor space, and to create outdoor living and entertaining areas in a clean, contemporary, and often luxurious style.  

There are ideas for family friendly gardens included in Garden Design Solutions, and advice on how to create safe areas for children in the garden, so this book will be helpful to families, couples and individuals looking to create a design for their outdoor space that will suit their needs and requirements.   

You don’t need to have a large garden to benefit from this book – there are numerous ideas for balconies, roof gardens, basement gardens and terraces, and plenty of inspiration of how to create the perfect outdoor entertaining area for these types of modern gardens.  Naturally there are also plenty of ideas for larger gardens too, with many beautiful and inspirational photographs included throughout the book.

There are lots of beautiful and inspiring photographs of gardens throughout Stephen Woodhams book, 'Garden Design Solutions', which is published by Jacqui Small LLP.
There are lots of beautiful and inspiring photographs of gardens throughout Stephen Woodhams book, ‘Garden Design Solutions’, which is published by Jacqui Small LLP.

Garden Design Solutions: Ideas for Outdoor Spaces is I feel, an encouraging book to read if design is a new concept for you, it opens with a ‘Getting started’ chapter to start the reader off on the right foot.  I feel that even if you’ve never even considered the design of your garden before, that this book could help inspire you.

For me, the best feature of this book is the case studies of real gardens that Stephen has designed for his clients.  These case studies really allow the reader to absorb and understand each garden, and learn more about the features and considerations for each design.  The case studies continue throughout the book, each demonstrating different ideas and design concepts.  It was lovely to see a case study of one of Stephen’s Gold Medal winning gardens for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show included.

Garden Design Solutions features a variety of different, contemporary designs for outdoor spaces, attention is given to practical considerations, there’s advice on using outdoor lighting as floor washes for safety to highlight steps, advice on choosing materials so that the flooring is practical and comfortable to walk on, as well as advice on safety considerations for children.  Garden Design Solutions features the usual design tips that you would expect, for example how to make your outside space feel bigger and information about creating a low maintenance garden, but there are also tips on swimming pools and other more unexpected features! 

Garden Design Solutions: Ideas for Outdoor Spaces by Stephen Woodhams is published by Jacqui Small LLP.
Garden Design Solutions: Ideas for Outdoor Spaces by Stephen Woodhams is published by Jacqui Small LLP.

Stephen, has extensive experience as a designer, having designed both interiors as well as exterior areas, throughout Garden Design Solutions, Stephen gives advice on considering both areas and how they relate to each other.  Stephen encourages the reader to allow the interior design of their house to influence their garden, he describes many ideas and gives a number of suggestions of how you can incorporate features to connect and consolidate the two areas and blur the boundaries between them, thereby extending your entertaining space.  

The photographs featured in 'Garden Design Solutions' illustrate each of Stephen Woodhams' design tips and advice. The case studies in this book are a really super feature and will be very helpful and informative for the reader.
The photographs featured in ‘Garden Design Solutions’ illustrate each of Stephen Woodhams’ design tips and advice. The case studies in this book are a really super feature and will be very helpful and informative for the reader.

In Garden Design Solutions, Stephen Woodhams shares many of his signature design ideas, it’s rather lovely to have the designer talk you through each of his designs in the case studies included in this book.  It feels very personal as Stephen shares his thoughts and hopes for each project, as well as information about the plants and materials he particularly enjoys incorporating into his designs.  Stephen shares his inspiration, what has inspired him and his designs, and how he collects and reflects on the inspiration he’s found.

Stephen shares with us some of his favourite designs he’s created for gardens and outdoor areas, as well as some of the favourite plants and materials he uses.  At the back of the book there’s a page of Resources with more information of the suppliers that Stephen uses, as well as information about some of the people that Stephen works with, together with details of how to contact them.

In the Planting chapter, the author gives his top ten varieties of trees, herbaceous perennials, hedges, architectural plants, shrubs, scented plants, and seasonal plants and flowers.  There’s also a section on furniture and furnishings, where the designer shares his favourite pieces and explains how and when he has incorporated them into designs.

There are a number of case studies of real gardens that Stephen Woodhams has designed for his clients that feature in Stephen's latest book, 'Garden Design Solutions'.
There are a number of case studies of real gardens that Stephen Woodhams has designed for his clients that feature in Stephen’s latest book, ‘Garden Design Solutions’.

Throughout Garden Design Solutions, Stephen encourages the reader to take influence and inspiration from the landscape surrounding the garden, ensuring that the garden fits seamlessly into its surroundings.  Stephen often uses native or drought tolerant plants in his designs and ensures that the style, shape and colours of the plants he uses, echo that of the interior of the house, flat or living area.  

There is also advice and examples of screening, architectural planting, and other design ideas to distract from problem areas, provide a greater sense of privacy, or just to screen off an unsightly area.  Stephen gives examples of gardens he’s designed which have been influenced by existing features, such as established trees and close neighbours in his case studies.

If you're looking to improve or re-design the entertaining areas of your garden, you'll find lots of inspiration in this book.
If you’re looking to improve or re-design the entertaining areas of your garden, you’ll find lots of inspiration in this book.

Although there are a number of rather extravagant gardens with swimming pools and other luxurious design ideas featured in Garden Design Solutions, this book would also suit someone who is looking for ideas to redesign their small patio garden or terrace, particularly if you’re looking to create a more expensive and luxurious style.  Even if your entire outside space is only sufficient in size to accommodate a table and chairs, if you’re looking to create an outdoor entertaining area with a contemporary, clean look, you’ll find plenty of ideas in this book.

Garden Design Solutions: Ideas for Outdoor Spaces by Stephen Woodhams is published by Jacqui Small LLP.
Garden Design Solutions: Ideas for Outdoor Spaces by Stephen Woodhams is published by Jacqui Small LLP.

To order Garden Design Solutions by Stephen Woodhams at the discounted price of £20 including p&p* (RRP: £25), telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG368.
*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas. 

Other links and articles that may interest you……………………….

To find out more information about Garden Design Solutions: Ideas for Outdoor Spaces by Stephen Woodhams, please click here.

To read my review of Richard Mabey’s latest book, ‘The Cabaret of Plants Botany and The Imagination’, please click here

To read my review of Burgon & Ball’s Weed Slice and Burgon & Ball’s Short Handled Weed Slice, please click here.

To read about live, growing Christmas trees, available from Wheeler Street Nursery in Witley, in Surrey, please click here

To read my review of the Trug Makers No. 7 trug, a hand-crafted trug made using traditional methods, please click here.

To read my review of Kathryn Aalto’s new book ‘The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood, please click here.

To read my review of the Espresso Mushroom Company’s Pearl Oyster Mushroom and Hot Pink Mushroom growing kits, (yes, you really can grow your own delicious, pink mushrooms indoors!) please click here.

To read my review of the My Kitchen Food Dehydrator from Lakeland, please click here.

To read my review of the BiOrbAir, a specialised, automated terrarium from Reef One that features an ultra sonic misting unit and automatic watering system, please click here.

To read my review of Lakeland’s Apple Master, an amazing device that peels, cores and slices apples in super quick time, please click here.

To read my review of the Garden Girl Rain Poncho, an adjustable, waterproof poncho with a pretty, floral design, please click here.

To read my review of the EarthBox, a specially developed container growing system, please click here.

To read my interview with David Neale, an award winning Garden Designer based in Guildford in Surrey, please click here.

To read the results of my 2015 Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.

If you’re looking for reputable suppliers of snowdrops, sold ‘in the green’, please click here.

For gardening advice of what you could do at your allotment or in your garden from mid-November until mid-December, please click here.

For gardening advice of what you could do in your garden or at your allotment from mid-December until mid-January, please click here.

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