Garden in Style

Author: Lynda Hallinan

Publisher: Random House, $29.99

Although this book is being promoted by the publisher as a recent release, it came out in late 2004. Its full title is New Zealand Garden in Style. Get the Look You Want. The author has an ever growing profile in gardening in this country. Her career as a presenter on TV was brief and pretty lightweight (Ground Rules – you may not even remember it) but she has gone from strength to strength as the editor of New Zealand Gardener and the garden editor for House and Garden. What sets her apart is her delight in plants (she also has a pretty good knowledge), her engaging enthusiasm and her relative youthfulness.

While the format of the book is contrived – how to achieve the look, from romantic to contemporary to formal gardens (there are nine options in all) and the 10 essential plants for each style, the plant selection is not as predictable as it sounds and there is good advice underpinning it all, along with the author’s bubbly delight in gardening.

It is a book for those who are looking to design and manage their own town sections. With lots of lovely photographs by Julian Matthews, a big typeface and well organised information, it is a good example of a motivational book for novices and a great deal more likely to encourage involvement than a dry old tome.