What Makes a Garden – A Special Book for Gardeners and Others

Cover, "What Makes a Garden" by Jinny Blom
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What Makes a Garden is the new book from Jinny Blom, one of the world’s leading garden designers. This is a gorgeous, inspiring book and beautifully written. This is a book that makes one feel good just to have it nearby.

What Makes a Garden builds upon the work of her best-selling The Thoughtful Garden, giving a broader idea of how she thinks about garden design. In particular it emphasizes her multi-disciplinary approach, which embraces architecture, conservation and art, coupled with a strong holistic thread.

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This fascinating and insightful book looks at how a garden should please all five senses; how it is an alchemical mix of the inanimate and the living; and also, how it has to accommodate both the effects of time and the influences of culture. 

This is not intended as a book of rules but rather a way of thinking about garden design and making sure it responds to the particularities of place, the culture and the demands of the client. Drawing on her work and experience over the last 20 years or so, the book gets to the heart of what people want and need from a garden and what makes it different from a natural landscape. It also offers what one needs from a book.  Pick it up, read a bit, be inspired and let it sit for a while.  And then, do this again at a later time.

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Reflecting Jinny‘s highly individual approach to garden design, the book is filled with warmth and character alongside her expert knowledge. With a broad appeal, this beautiful book is for all garden lovers: thoughtful yet practical and informative, it marries artistry with functionality.

Particularly enjoyable are the variety of photos and the range of topics which include history and literature. What is also very nice is being able to pick it up and just read small sections so that you can grab as much or as little information as you need.

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Jinny Blom is a leading garden designer who began her London based landscape design practice in 2000, designing gardens all over the world. Her innovative and uniquely thoughtful work has been much lauded and featured in the press internationally. She has designed four award-winning gardens for the RHS Chelsea Flower She has been a columnist for The Times, contributed regularly to radio and television worldwide, and in 2002 won BBC Radio Broadcaster of the Year for her Radio 4 Woman’s Hour features. 

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I loved this book so much, I shared it with my friend, Kathy whose comments follow.  “What Makes a Garden is wonderful.  Consider it to be a historical treatise, step-by-step guide, and poetic reverie on gardens and gardening.  Although it may be more than the average gardener would need, the book is a beautiful compilation of photos and information that could easily serve as a reference and a lovely coffee table book.  I’ve enjoyed reading it.”

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Photo credit: Photos courtesy of What Makes A Garden by Jinny Blom, published by Frances Lincoln, 2023. All rights reserved. Photos by © Britt Willoughby.


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