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le 8 mai 2008
Most of the existing books on landscaping can be put into one of the three categories:

a. Coffee table books with pretty photos.
b. Encyclopedia of plants.
c. Horticulture books.

Only a few of the books on landscaping actually discuss design.

"Designing with Succulents" is so unique that it fits in all three categories and it is also a well-written design book. It has striking color photos, useful horticulture information, and it is an encyclopedia for succulents.

This book also has detailed information on planning and design for gardens. Debra started with discussions on sun consideration, basic of garden design, front yard ideas, street side gardens, pathway plantings, slope and terraces and some useful and practical information on evaluating the soils, water and irrigation, and preparing and repairing.

If you mention succulents, most people will think of them as sculptural plants with green-tone or gray-tone colors. Debra provided some fresh ideas and introduced succulents with vivid, colorful leaves and brilliant flowers into garden design. She also explored the issues of landscaping and fire safety, the design of green roof gardens, rock and boulder gardens, desert and cactus gardens, beach gardens, sea-themed succulent gardens, geometric plantings, as well as tapestry and labyrinth gardens with the use of succulents.

"Designing with Succulents" has a special chapter on pots, wreath and container gardens, including style and sizes, design principles and creative ideas for pots, wreath or topiary, and soils, sun and fertilizers, and water and drainage. I found this information to be very useful, especially for gardens with tight spaces and for remodel projects where planting areas are limited.

This book also has information on growing succulents in colder climate, and plant care and propagation, and separate chapters for huge succulents, mid-sized succulents and small succulents.

"Designing with Succulents" has 256 pages and color interior photos. It is a must-have for both gardening novices and seasoned professionals.

Gang Chen, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Author of "Planting Design Illustrated," "LEED GA Exam Guide," "Architectural Practice Simplified," and other books on various LEED exams, architecture, and landscape architecture
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