Monday, October 21, 2013

Fine Foliage: Review and Giveaway

Book cover image courtesy of Fine Foliage © Fine Foliage St. Lynn's Press 2012-13

Before I talk about the book Fine Foliage, I want to introduce you to Karen Chapman, a good blogging friend, and one of the book's two authors, by way of her garden. 

Photo by Karen Chapman © Le Jardinet 2013 

Karen sometimes jokes that, when she and her husband bought their modest one storey house on 5 acres of land, the landscape's best feature was a dead tree.

That was back in 2009.

Since that time, they have moved a small cedar cabin on the property, built an arbor, built a fenced vegetable garden and created a beautiful island-shaped flowerbed around the cabin.


Photo by Karen Chapman © Le Jardinet 2013 

Photo by Karen Chapman © Le Jardinet 2013 
In this closeup, there is a spirea at the very bottom of the picture, orange flowering croscosmia just above it, a paperbark maple on the right, a burgundy colored Barberry in the middle-distance and Feather Reed Grass in the near distance. You can read more about the planting details in this post.

Photo by Karen Chapman © Le Jardinet 2013 

When Karen began working on this section of the garden, it was a mosquito infested swamp! 

The addition of a stream bed in 2010 gave ground water a way to flow away from the area. Wild grasses and weeds were covered over by layering sheets of cardboard and then a fresh layer Moo-doo was added on top (read all about this interesting process by clicking the link.)

Here is the how the same area looked three years later  in April 2013:

Photo by Karen Chapman © Le Jardinet 2013 

Photo by Karen Chapman © Le Jardinet 2013 

What an amazing transformation, eh? 

You can read more about the garden make-over process and about some of the planting details in this post.


Now, on to the book Fine Foliage that Karen wrote with friend and kindred spirit Christina Salwitz

I think you will find that Fine Foliage is a great little resource book you can dip into quickly and come away feeling inspired.

Though the book offers a designer's perspective on using foliage color, shape and texture to create beautiful planting combinations, the ideas are presented in a very user-friendly way.

Page spread image courtesy of Fine Foliage © Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz 2013

Image courtesy of Fine Foliage © Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz 2013

 On one side of a page spread, you have a bit of inspiration that is beautifully photographed.

Page image courtesy of Fine Foliage © Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz 2013 

On the other side you have everything you need to know about the planting combination clearly spelled out for you: sun or shade, season, soil, and zone. 

Karen and Christina also tell you why the combination works and introduce you to each of the plants involved. 

Image courtesy of Fine Foliage © Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz 2013 

The book is conveniently divided into two sections: Sun and Shade. (The image above is one of the nice shade container plantings from the book.)

As well as container plantings, the book also addresses foliage in the garden proper with pretty plant combinations like these ones:

Page spread image courtesy of Fine Foliage © Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz  2013 

Image courtesy of Fine Foliage © Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz 2013 

I think you will find that Fine Foliage is a terrific book that can make getting to "beautiful" as easy as following a simple recipe. Providing an easy roadmap to success helps to build confidence and both authors hope that readers will end up using the book as a springboard to begin to create their own unique foliage combinations.  

And at under twenty dollars, Fine Foliage is a bargain!


If you would like to be included a draw for the copy of  Fine Foliage, please leave a comment below. I am going to leave the contest open for a full week. Overseas bloggers are welcome to enter. The draw and winning announcement will be made in an upcoming post.

Many thanks to St. Lynn's Press for providing a copy book for this giveaway (I purchased my own copy of the book for the purpose of this review).


Good luck everyone!

To read more reviews of great gardening books, be sure to click this link to Holley's blog: Roses and other Gardening Joys.


More Information and Links:

Author, Karen Chapman:"I am a container and landscape designer, serious plant-aholic, garden writer and public speaker for all things gardening. In other words, I'm ususally covered in a layer or two of soil...I am truly passionate about sharing the joys of gardening." Visit Karen's website and blog here: Le Jardinet
Author, Christina Salwitz: "I am a container designer, garden coach, garden writer, speaker and foliage-aholic who loves to teach and see the light bulb go on when a gardener suddenly "gets it". I adore the entire horticultural industry and revel in helping others feel the same passion that I do about plants". Visit Christina's blog here: The Garden Coach.
"Fine foliage is a visual treat that will inspire you with dazzling combinations for containers and gardens. Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz explain why each combination works- bringing artistic design within easy reach of all gardeners. A great user-friendly resource." - Debra Prinzing, author of The 50 Mile Bouquet
Book Title: Fine Foliage, Elegant Plant Combinations for Garden and Container
Pages: 140
Publisher: St. Lynn's Press
Price on Amazon: Under $15

39 comments:

  1. Wow, wow, wow. Those are some breathtaking photos. It finally clicked with me to start using more colorful foliage, and this book is exactly what I am looking for! It was already on my wish list, but it has just been moved up to #1. Perfect timing - I plan on ordering several books tonight! :) Thanks so much for joining in - and for introducing us to Karen's amazing garden, too! Please don't sign me up for the giveaway, but some one is going to be very, very lucky to win this book!

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  2. I would love to win the book! Please include me.

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  3. The garden looks amazing and the book looks like a wonderful resource! I would love to win it but if I don't I am adding it to my wish list of books :)

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  4. What a terrific review of the book Fine Foliage! I love the format, practical and presented out well too, so easy that everything is right there together. If I don't win this giveaway I will certainly be adding this book to my personal library.

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  5. Looks like a really nice book. I find it hard to concentrate on the foliage when my eye always goes to the flower. Thanks for reviewing this book.

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  6. Oh my! -What a transformation! Great review too!

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  7. I have this book and love it. It is great to see the author's garden. I love that stream bed and have thought about transforming one area like this.

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  8. ooooh! Count me in! I'd love a copy of this - I need more inspiration for next year's big landscaping push. Love the crocosmia, wish I could grow it here. It is stunning!!

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  9. This looks like a pretty cool book. :o) I've been trying to add more interesting foliage to the garden every year. I love her stream bed. But since I've won a book from you before, don't count me in. Let someone else be lucky!

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  10. I've never left a comment on a blog before, but I had to for this draw :) Looks like a beautiful book, full of inspiring photos. I'm just into the 2nd year of a brand new yard and will be spending the loooong winter researching and planning my next step and this book would be extremely helpful.

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  11. I am just in awe of that garden! She certainly has a way with foliage. I have never seen croscosmia looking so good!

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  12. Oh my goodness - what a gardener

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  13. Wow, Karen Chapman is very talented and very worker woman, she created nice garden on the swamp, wonderful!

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  14. What a wonderful book, I would love to enter your draw, are you sure you want overseas people to enter, you might have some hefty postage to pay!?
    I have always felt that foliage is so important in a garden and I think this book could lead us all to a new level.

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    1. Hi Pauline, I like to include everyone that expresses an interest in the draw. I have had one European winner in a previous book draw and I sent the book out by surface mail. It takes a while to get to the book winner, but makes sending a book overseas afordable.

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  15. What a stunning garden! When I scrolled back to the first picture it was hard to believe it was the same place. It just shows you what can be achieved.
    Funnily enough I was looking out at our back garden yesterday and thinking I need some more interesting foliage out there. This looks the ideal book to get me started.

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  16. An amazing transformation indeed! Karen's garden is simply beautiful, and to think she's achieved this in just a few short years is amazing. When I first started gardening, I was all about flowers; I guess I've matured because I now appreciate beautiful foliage just as much. I'd love to win a copy of her book in your drawing, but I'm definitely going to check it out this winter--I could use these tips and inspiration!

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  17. It's hard to believe Karen was able to do all this in just a few years. Astounding. I'm in awe.

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  18. Wow! This looks like the perfect book for my husband and I, as we began with a yard that had nothing except old beer tabs, old dog poops, and leaves that hadn't been raked up in years. (On the plus side, it has provided us with a blank slate from which we are slowly working!) I am in awe of all of Karen's hard work - the results are stunning!

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  19. What an incredible garden, five acres is some space for sure. I'd love to be entered.xxxx

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  20. Wonderful how Karen Chapman transformed the 5 acres in such a beautiful garden. Your review of the book Fine Foliage sounds very good, really a 'must have' for every keen gardener.

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  21. Great post and I just LOVE this book! Karen and Christina joined me on my radio show too and they were outstanding guests. Definitely one of my top picks for 2013! :)

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  22. Jennifer,
    What a lovely post. Karen's garden is amazing!! Thank you from both of us for this wonderful and enthusiastic review. I hope that the lucky person who receives the book lets us know how they like it!

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  23. What a great looking transformation. Gives me hope for my yard. This book looks like a reference that would be turned to over and over for inspiration. Thanks for the offer.

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  24. For some reason the older I get the more I like foliage. This looks like a fabulous book, love the gardens. On my list:)

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  25. What a transformation that garden has had! Looks just beautiful!
    As I have got more experienced as a gardener, I have learned to appreciate foliage more and see that plants don’t necessarily need to have showy flowers to be beautiful. But getting tips and tricks from the professionals in a book is always so inspirational, I can see this book has buckets of that!

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  26. She did a wonderful job on her property. I love the small cabin too. The book looks well organized and easy to follow as a reader.

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  27. I'm in!!! You know I have seen this book out and about and almost purchased it after I saw someone refer to it online.....How amazing is her garden! I actually just recently pinned some photos of her garden strictly for the foliage!!! She has an eye!!! Have a lovely weekend Jennifer!!!!

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  28. Karen's garden is amazing! Talk about hard work - they have certainly renovated it extensively since they moved in. And the book looks wonderful. Foliage and texture are so important in a garden as we all know, so I look forward to checking out the book. Thanks for the opportunity to win it!

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  29. Karen's property is stunning, great examples of design using form and texture. The book looks like it will show beginners how to achieve the same effect, and a reminder for seasoned gardeners how to make their gardens better.

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  30. That is some very fine foliage. Beautiful transformation.

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  31. Wow, the transformations are amazing. This book seems like it would give me the ideas and inspirations I need to get our garden in order.

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  32. The result of her work is amazing, love it - and would LOVE to have a chance on this book! :-)

    http://tinajoathome.com/

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  33. I've seen this book on several occasions and still haven't bought it. Now I know I definitely need to pick up a copy. I almost cried when I saw she started that garden in 2009. It's gorgeous. full on gorgeous. We bought our house in 2009 and my garden looks nothing like that. I obviously really need to read her book.

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  34. Don't include me in the drawing; I already have it! It is everything you describe. I have read her blog since she first moved to her current location, and I have enjoyed watching the design of Karen's garden mature to the truly beautiful space she has today. Her foliage combinations are inspirational!

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  35. Looks like something my garden needs. When the flower fade, it's nice to have interesting foliage!

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  36. Beautiful garden, and they have a great blog too. I would love to have the book.

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  37. Oh My.... so much beauty. great info and photos as well. Thanks for sharing - as all the others before me have said I'd love a book too !

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