The landscape makeover book How to bring new life to an old yard

Sara Jane Von Trapp

Book - 2000

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Newtown, Conn. : Taunton Press 2000.
Main Author
Sara Jane Von Trapp (-)
Physical Description
170 p. : ill
  • Introduction
  • 1. House and Garden Style: From Young to Old to Rejuvenated
  • Where Do I Begin?
  • Your Neighborhood, Your House
  • Budgeting Time and Money for Renovation
  • Let's Get Started!
  • 2. Keepers, Movers, and Composters
  • Name That Plant
  • What to Keep
  • What to Move
  • What to Compost
  • 3. Developing the Yard: Dreaming and Planning
  • Well-Tended or Wild?
  • Family Spaces
  • From Dreamscape to Landscape: The Plan
  • 4. Reshaping the Wild Spaces
  • Thinning and Clearing
  • Taking Down a Tree
  • Hiring Tree Professionals
  • Dealing with Stumps
  • Eliminating Other Unwanted Plants
  • 5. Reshaping the Land
  • Checking the Grade
  • Correcting the Grade
  • Creating Drainage Systems
  • Renovating the Lawn
  • 6. Reshaping the Planting Beds
  • Plan before You Cut
  • Cutting the Beds
  • Planting the Beds
  • 7. Pruning Simplified
  • Prune for Healthy Plants
  • Tools of the Trade
  • Time It Right
  • Pruning Schemes
  • Next Steps
  • 8. Timely Transplanting
  • Size Spells Success
  • Timing Is Everything
  • The Right Tools for the Job
  • Moving Trees
  • Moving Shrubs
  • Dividing and Moving Perennials
  • Moving Bulbs
  • 9. Renovating the Front Entry: Stoops and Steps
  • Start with an Assessment
  • Repair or Rebuild?
  • 10. Well-Designed Walkways and Patios
  • Anatomy of a Walkway or Patio
  • Common Problems
  • Surface Materials
  • Proper Pitch
  • The Well-Designed Walkway
  • Building a Walkway
  • The Well-Designed Patio
  • The Possibilities for Change
  • Lighting: The Finishing Touch
  • 11. Transforming an Old Deck
  • Start with What You Have
  • Designing the Changes
  • The Details
  • 12. The Yard beyond the House
  • Adding a Pool
  • Renovating a Pool
  • Bringing a Pond Back to Life
  • Siting a New Pond
  • Creating a Water Feature
  • Adding Garden Structures
  • Planning Play Areas
  • Siting a Vegetable Garden
  • Lighting the Landscape
  • Finishing Touches
  • Index
Review by Booklist Review

Von Trapp suggests that instead of tearing up a garden and starting over, it would be more efficient to renovate the existing landscape. With that in mind, she gives detailed instructions on creating a compost pile (from those plants that get a thumbs-down); planning the yard and garden; removing trees and unwanted plants; creating a drainage system; renovating a lawn; shaping and planting flower beds; pruning; transplanting; renovating stoops and steps; designing and building walkways, patios, decks, and pools; and installing lighting. This useful handbook contains 185 color photographs and 50 black-and-white line drawings. --George Cohen

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Advocating the sensible and imaginative use of existing landscape elements to "reshape the character" of the yard, gardener von Trapp assesses plants to determine which are "keepers," "movers" or "composters." Priority lists and leading questions help the reader to see his or her yard with a fresh perspective and move easily into the planning phase. Von Trapp then introduces the aerobic exercise--cleaning up a wildwood (cutting trees, removing stumps, dealing with invasive poison ivy), reshaping the land (swales for water drainage) or reshaping beds (widening and curving the foundation beds to accommodate layers of plantings)--necessary for the makeover. The book centers on pruning as the most basic renovation that can yield dramatic change, but there's plenty of specific counsel on "hardscape" treatments such as bleaching a moldy deck, renovating a thinning lawn, refacing a concrete stoop with bluestone, refashioning narrow walkways, adding a pool and finishing the new look with lighting. This inviting, comprehensive guide will embolden new owners of old homes. 185 color photos. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Since the median age of the American home is 30 years, many home landscapes need updating. Von Trapp (Landscaping from the Ground Up), a professional landscape designer and horticulturist, was prompted by her experiences in revitalizing her own home's aging landscape to write a book guiding homeowners step by step through a landscape makeover. Helpful checklists are included for both the planning and execution phases. Beautiful color photos and black-and-white line drawings, along with clear directions for do-it-yourself projects, make this a practical guide for bringing new life to a past-mature yard. Buchanan, a botanist, horticulturist, author of more than 20 books, and contributor to Country Living Gardener, also uses her own home as a showcase for her work. Unlike von Trapp, who focuses on rejuvenating older landscapes and solving common home landscaping problems, Buchanan offers a comprehensive treatment of landscape design, emphasizing designing with plants and including extensive information about choosing and caring for plants, trees, shrubs, vines, and ground covers. Her book, a companion volume to Taylor's Master Guide to Gardening (Houghton, 1994), is a landmark work destined to become a classic. The text is authoritative, but both the language and the examples are down-to-earth. Color photographs, line drawings, plant lists for special purposes, and checklists for projects such as making and using compost enhance this title. Practical yet challenging, both titles will help homeowners to improve their outdoor living environment, add value to their homes, and increase their pleasure in their yards. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.--Nancy Myers, Univ. of South Dakota Lib., Vermillion (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.