Water features for small gardens From concept to construction

Keith Davitt

Book - 2003

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Subjects
Published
Portland, Or. : Timber Press 2003.
Language
English
Physical Description
174 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
0881925969
Main Author
Keith Davitt (-)
Review by E-Streams Reviews

Interest in water features has exploded in recent years and there are many books on all aspects. This one focuses on small spaces and garden designer/author Keith Davitt finds ingenious ways of incorporating water features into even the smallest of gardens. According to Davitt, water features, which include fountains, pools, bogs, and even tub gardens, formal and informal, are lower in maintenance than lawns or perennial beds, and cause no mosquito problems if moving water or fish are part of the plan. They also enhance the value of the property by their beauty and uniqueness.This attractive book begins with a description of the various kinds of water features popular today and where they are best used, followed by a chapter on each type, with æhow-toÆ instructions and clear sketches. DoÆs and donÆts are explored through actual projects the author has completed. Each example begins with a problem site. Most include before and after photos. Design considerations and planting decisions for the garden as a whole are described, with particular attention to the water feature and how it fits into the overall design. Then results are summarized. Read straight through, this pattern of description and summary would be repetitious, but it allows readers to skim quickly through design summaries to find one they want to explore further.The author concentrates on projects that are low in cost and maintenance, and easy to build. He clearly indicates what can reasonably be done by the do-it-yourselfer and when a professional should be called in. Almost all the projects described here can be built without professional help. The book focuses on design and new construction, touching only briefly on maintenance and common problems in existing water gardens such as algae control or winter care. If this book has a fault it is that some of the plant species described as part of the design are not very distinct in the photographs, which are often small. But the final chapter on plant choices provides good and very full descriptions of plant characteristics and placement considerations and it is well illustrated. Also included are an index, short bibliography, and list of suppliers. The index provides cross-references from common to scientific plant names. The bibliography includes a 1998 UK publication of the same title by Ethne Clarke. ClarkeÆs book is a bit more comprehensive, including a wider range of styles, as well as information on lighting, safety, maintenance, plant propagation and disease. This book is intended for a general audience and would be a fine choice for any public libraryÆs gardening collection or academic libraryÆs collection on landscape architecture.Reviewer:Chris Desai, Science Librarian, Southern Illinois University Morris Library Science Division, cdesai@lib.siu.edu Copyright 2004 E-Streams Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Davitt follows up his Small Spaces: Beautiful Gardens with this new volume on incorporating water features into small backyards and city gardens, devoting chapters to natural pools, formal pools and fountains, wall fountains, streams, bog gardens, tub plantings, and natural waterfalls. Each section provides several before-and-after case studies from his own landscaping projects, many of them in New York City. Compared with the many other recent titles on water gardening, Davitt's excels particularly at showing how formal pools and fountains can transform cramped urban spaces such as courtyards and tiny backyards. However, much of the book reads more like a showcase album for his landscaping business (down to catty remarks about the ugliness of the "before" gardens) than a manual for general readership. Recommended for larger landscaping collections.-Beth Clewis Crim, Prince William P.L., VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Keith Davitt brings the delights of the water garden within reach of everyone in Water Features for Small Gardens. With a clear eye to design, construction, materials, and maintenance, Davitt offers alternatives for every style of garden and every budget. Detailed case studies depict actual gardens progressing from the planning stage to planting, and the author shows step-by-step how such features are created using only modest building skills.Heavily illustrated and packed with practical information, Water Features for Small Gardens is a must for any gardener seeking to bring his or her garden to the next level.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Celebrated designer Keith Davitt brings the delights of the water garden within reach of everyone inWater Features for Small Gardens. With a clear eye to design, construction, materials, and maintenance, Davitt offers alternatives for every style of garden and every budget. Detailed case studies depict actual gardens progressing from the planning stage to planting, and the author shows step by step how such features are created using only modest building skills. Types of water gardens discussed include: natural, formal, and informal pools; raised and in-ground formal fountains; wall fountains; streams and waterfalls; and bog and tub gardens. Heavily illustrated and packed with practical information,Water Features for Small Gardens is a must for any gardener seeking to bring his or her garden to the next level.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Before starting your water feature, learn from these detailed case studies that depict actual gardens progressing from planning to planting, using only modest building skills.