Spring is in the air, or at least Spring Fever, as we patiently await the end of a frigid Winter. Among other things, the promise of warmer weather offers the chance to move our design focus outside. Whether you get down and dirty in the flower beds every year, or you’re tackling your first ever garden project, everyone has the potential to create a relaxing outdoor space with the right guidance and vision.
In her new book, Gardentopia: Design Basics for Creating Beautiful Outdoor Spaces, professional landscape designer Jan Johnsen offers just that, detailing the main elements that go into the art of landscape design. Novices and experts alike will be able to follow along with these tips and tricks to create a stylish and serene outdoor space; a practice that has been close to Johnsen’s heart since she was a kid.
“I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and grew plants on the fire escape of our apartment,” Johnsen said. “…As a kid growing up in a concrete world, I dreamed of trees and flowers and the feeling I had when I was in their company.”
Johnsen has culminated influence from all over the world in her over 30 years in the landscape business. As a college student, she worked for an architecture firm in Japan, and frequented the Japanese Gardens in Kyoto. From there she worked for a landscape architecture firm in Osaka, before ultimately studying landscape architecture at the University of Hawaii.
Johnsen credits her time in Japan as a turning point in her understanding of nature as a necessity in our lives.
“We need to be surrounded with beautiful green outdoor spaces of any size. They refresh us and de-stress us,” Johnsen said.
In order to achieve the ultimate stress-free garden, Johnsen has broken up the book into five categories; illustrating how to master individual elements in garden design, and pull them all together to work cohesively. While Johnsen admits plants and flowers are usually everyone’s favorite part of creating a garden, there are many components that go into landscape design. Consider how more permanent fixtures like walls and walkways influence the functionality of a space, or what mood you set with your color palette.
With these things in mind, and with beautiful photography throughout, readers can visualize exactly what they want to accomplish through Johnsen’s advice.
Joining Johnsen’s previous works Heaven is a Garden and The Spirit of Stone, Gardentopia will be available for purchase on April 2, 2019.
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