Your First Garden

Your First Garden

A Landscape Primer for New Home Owners

Book - 2016
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Praise for the author's Landscape Planning: Practical Techniques for the Home Gardener :

"Highly recommended as one of the most comprehensive, up-to-date works on general gardening."
-- Chicago Botanic Garden

"This book is worth its weight in gold."
-- The Globe and Mail

In this book, accomplished garden writer Judith Adam targets new homeowners in sterile, still-to-be-landscaped suburbs. Creating an attractive setting for a brand-new house is a high priority and hard to resist, as all improvements will add to the property's dollar value as well as the enjoyment of the new home.

With a light hand Adam outlines the basic steps toward transforming an empty yard into a welcoming, appealing space, beginning with identifying a personal garden style and assessing the pros and cons of a site, then choosing, planting and maintaining plants.

Your First Garden is a primer on the basic elements of landscape design and garden creation: planning for scale and balance, color selection, and architectural features are all landscape elements that homeowners must understand.

Chapters include information on:

How property improvements build value into your new purchase Tips on budgeting garden improvements over several seasons Scale and balance in the garden Planting style and succession planting A landscaping plan checklist Evaluating soil with a tip sheet explaining soil chemistry and pH The science and art of fertilization, including organic humus The 10 critical gardening tools How to create garden beds from nothing Calculating soil and mulch quantities Planting suggestions for foundation, perennial and shrub beds Getting the best performance out of your plants with the least amount of work Best practices for planting perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees Tips on pruning and weeding.

All perennial and annual plant selections are easy to grow, suitable for all North American climates, and inexpensive.

Judith Adams' previous title, Landscape Planning , sold more than 72,000 copies. In Your First Garden she provides a highly readable road map for new homeowners and neophyte gardeners. It is an essential purchase for all collections.

Publisher: Richmond Hill, Ont. : Firefly Books, 2016
ISBN: 9781770857087
Branch Call Number: 635 ADA
Characteristics: 120 p. :,ill. (chiefly col.) ;,26 cm


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SPL_Robyn May 02, 2016

reviewed in the Stratford Gazette, May 2016.


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SPL_Robyn May 02, 2016

So you’ve just moved into a new space and there’s a blank canvas of yard on which to draw the garden of your dreams. But you haven’t a clue how to start, and you may not have all the time in the world to become an overnight expert (unless you’ve just retired – congratulations, and we aren’t jealous or anything).

Enter Judith Adam, a horticulturalist, landscape designer and most importantly journalist – someone who can write about landscape design and horticulture with great accuracy, precision and brevity. The slimness of Ms. Adam’s book is deceptive – full of the gorgeous photographs for which Firefly Press is known, it is nevertheless quite comprehensive and full of useful checklists for evaluating your space, soil and design plans.

Too much sun or shade in your garden? This book has sections on problem solving from light levels, soil types, pest-handling and watering needs. Ms. Adam includes short lists of “the best…” bulbs, ground covers, annuals, perennials (by month – handy!), shrubs, autumn and winter trees – among others - for quick reference or shopping guide. None of the varieties she mentions will be hard to find, nor are they likely to be hugely expensive, but will certainly give some immediate and future WOW factor to your space.

Yes, it does take some time to plan, but it’s ok – there are still three weeks left before the unofficial start of planting season – May 24th – and Ms. Adam thoughtfully includes Canada’s own hardiness zones for choosing the correct plants for our area. And when you’re ready to head off to a local gardening centre to pick up your soil and plants, Ms. Adam also includes lists of the most likely tools you’ll need for planting and maintenance, and transforming that blank canvas of a yard into an appealing and inviting addition to your new home.

Find Your First Garden (and other growing guides) at

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