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The only garden design book written just for the Canadian prairies

Tired of advice for gorgeous yards that can only be created in climates like California, southern Ontario or Victoria? Author Lyndon Penner wrote Garden Design for the Short Season Yard for you, because he knows prairie gardeners face challenges no one faces in gentler climates.

Anyone can learn the basics of garden design. In this accessible guide, you’ll discover the pros’ secrets: practical ways to transform your yard using basic design principles. You can create an aesthetically pleasing yard that meets your needs, whether you want stunning curb appeal, privacy, low maintenance, or a lush retreat. You’ll develop your eye for design with Lyndon’s short critiques of gardens, both good and bad. You’ll also find worksheets to help you design your own garden.

With his signature style and wit, Lyndon delivers his expert advice for a four-season makeover for your yard. Topics include:

  • Elements of design, such as scale, balance, texture, colour and repetition.
  • Choosing a theme and a focal point.
  • Weather, diseases and pests.
  • Low-maintenance, water-wise, and shade gardening.
  • Trees, perennials, annuals and permanent garden features.

Praise for Lyndon’s previous gardening books:

The Prairie Short Season Yard

“This book was a joy to read. There is so much great information on so many topics related to the prairie garden that it may well become the ‘Gold Standard‘ on short season gardening here in Manitoba.”  Deborah Petrie, Master Gardener

“[Lyndon] has laid out some principles, suggestions and advice that I can understand and follow in my own Sherwood Park garden. And he does it in such an earthy fashion, I think he is right here talking to me about my own decisions, my own problems. ...  A new guru is in town.”  Jon Brehaut, Edmonton Horticultural Society Newsletter

The Chinook Short Season Yard

“When you read this book you will know that you have found a gem and definitely one that belongs in your personal library. It’s in mine!”  Janet Melrose, Gardener for the Prairies Magazine

“For novice as well as veteran gardeners, this book is sure to be an agent for positive change in terms of how we approach gardening.” Lorna McIlroy, Alberta Horticultural Society Newsletter

Table of Contents

Section I: Practical Considerations
1. Before you begin
2. Building expectations
3. Garden structure
4. Space analysis: What’s there now and how can I use it better?
5. Designing for life
Section II: Design Consideration
6. Design trends
7. Themes: Gardening with purpose
8. Basic elements of design
9. Creating negative space
10. Focal points
11. Colour
12. Beyond the basic elements
Section III: Drafting Your Design
13. Getting started
14. Planning is done: Let’s plant!
Section IV: Developing Your Inner Designer
15. Short critiques
16. Detailed consultation 

Lyndon Penner

Popular radio gardening columnist, horticultural consultant, and professional landscape designer Lyndon Penner has been gardening since the age of three. He appears frequently as a guest speaker at universities, colleges, and gardening associations in western Canada.