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Gardening Landscape

Your First Garden

A Landscape Primer for New Home Owners

by (author) Judith Adam

Firefly Books
Initial publish date
Mar 2016
Landscape, Reference
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2016
    List Price

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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.


About the author

Editorial Reviews

Comprehensive and full of useful checklists for evaluating your space soil and design plans.

Stratford Gazette

"While new home buyers will spend thousands of dollars beautifying the inside of their home, many neglect the outside, often because they don't have the skills and patience to create their own garden. But it doesn't have to be that way! "Your First Garden: A Landscape Primer for New Owners" is a perfect paperback resource for home buyers with little-to-no gardening experience who need to transform their yard into a welcoming, appealing space that will add to the value of their home... Adam begins by inspiring home buyers to find their personal style and inspiration, assessing the pros and cons home buyers may find at a site, and suggesting ways to rectify any issues they may come across, such as poor soil and bad drainage. From here, readers learn how to plan out the space by building garden beds, and are taught the basics of fertilization and plant nutrition. Lastly, Adam breaks down the best low-maintenance annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs to grow in a new garden... It is filled with beautiful color photographs, diagrams and instructions and is chockful of hints and tips that even seasoned gardeners will appreciate... The ideal how-to and inspiration book for anyone looking to start their first garden. It not only takes away the daunting task of getting started, but teaches you how to care for and enjoy your garden for years to come. "


Gives detailed advice to first-time gardeners on how to make a home's exterior appealing and an attractive setting. Judith Adam takes you through different phases of designing the landscape of your garden. With each phase, she gives you relevant information and realistic expectations on what to anticipate. It is noted that starting a garden is not easy and Adams even says it may be best for some people to call a professional to help with the task. If you don't have the resources to call an expert, however, this book makes the job of growing your own garden a little less daunting. I was very surprised while reading this book, because I learned that starting a garden isn't just planting some seeds and hoping for the best. There is a lot of consideration and planning that goes into gardening like: surveying the area around your house for seeing the size and shape your garden will take on, figuring out how you will irrigate the garden, recognizing the type of soil you have, finding ways to keep your soil healthy, and deciding if you want to add other installations to your garden like patios and decks. The book also gives an overview of what plants and trees work best for each season... I would recommend this book to gardeners, homeowners, and landscapers. Whether you are a novice or expert, I believe this book will be enlightening for everyone.

Washington Gardener Magazine

This compact guide provides new homeowners with a wealth of information about creating a garden from the initial drawing stage to planting. The lively writing style, color photographs, and text boxes make the book an enjoyable read... This book is a real bargain and a great resource for new homeowners. Recommended for public libraries.

American Reference Books Annual

"Colour photos and a concise text make this a helpful "getting started" or landscape renovation guide."

Times Colonist

Other titles by Judith Adam