The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty Review

The Layered Garden  Design Lessons for Year Round Beauty

Review of The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty

As of this writing, there are 106 customer comments and 0 answered questions for The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty.  I’ve read the customer feedback, and then condensed the results into this review.  I hope that this helps you when shopping for a gardening book.

Best Fea​tures

  • check Teaches you how to make a layered garden
  • check Lots of colorful photographs
  • check Good for those with limited gardening space
  • check Makes a great coffee table book
  • check Great for both beginners and experts

Item Specifics

The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty teaches you everything you need to know about layering.  It will instruct you on how to choose the correct plants, how to design a layered garden, and how to maintain it.  Written by David L. Culp, this book was inspired by Culp’s own layered garden, called Brandywine Cottage.  In this gardening book, Culp will take you on a tour through each part of his garden, including the woodland garden, the perennial border, the kitchen garden, the shrubbery, and the walled garden.  There are lots of colorful photographs in this book, with most of them showing you David Culp’s garden.  There are 312 pages in this book.  This gardening book is available on Kindle and as a hardcover.

Lots of Beautiful Photographs

Customers enjoyed all the pictures of David Culp’s Brandywine Cottage garden.  They found the pictures inspiring and fun to look through.  Here is one of the many comments, “This is a well written and beautifully photographed book. It will be on my short list of “go to” books when I have a gardening question or just want to sit and dream over the photographs on a winter’s day when I can’t be outside.”

Not Exactly a How-To Book

Customers thought that this book was more about how David Culp made his layered garden, rather than instructing you how to make one.  A customer explains in this way, “I wanted some more ideas and instructions, of plants that would go well together, this book was more of a story of how his garden came to be.”

Makes a Nice Coffee Table Book

Although this book may not be the best how-to book, it makes a great coffee table book.  With all the colorful, clear pictures, this gardening book can be enjoyed by many.  One customer explains, “This book is filled with great design information and has as many photographs as coffee table book. I am going to purchase several more hardcopy books as gifts. The use of color, height, plant rotations and 4 seasons of visual design were informative and nicely illustrated. Any gardner would love this book and benefit from some of the techniques described in the book.”

This Gardening Method Is Great For Small Spaces

If you do not have a lot of land to garden with, a layered garden may work well for you.  Many customers who had limited gardening space said that this gardening method worked well.  Here is what one customer had to say, “Always looking for ways to design and plan my small garden. With a small space to work with, the book is helpful in my design and planting.”


A lot of customers that ordered this gardening book were inspired to start their own layered garden.  With the many photographs, you can clearly see how nice a layered garden can look.  A customer shares her thoughts, “I read a review of this book in the New York Times, and was so inspired I ordered the book. This is beautifully written and photographed. The author clearly conveys his joy of gardening – you can hear him talking through the page. I found the writing and images so inspiring that I began to look at my garden and think about the plants and arrangements in a whole new way. The book is filled with practical information and tips about how to achieve this beautiful, layered look. This is my favorite garden book, and I have plenty.”

Great For Beginners and Experts Alike

Customers thought that this book is great for beginners and experts at gardening.  Here is what one customer thought, “This is a wonderful book! Great for the novice as well as for the professional gardener. David provides clear ideas to layer your own garden. The photo’s of the gardens alone expand your creativity and will excite you to start planning at your home. It’s a great book that every gardener and person who dreams of being a gardener should have on there coffee table.”

The Author Writes as Though He Was Talking Directly to You

A lot of customers liked the way the author wrote this book.  When they read it, they thought it was like he was talking directly to them, and joyfully describing to them how his garden came to be.  Here is one of the many comments, “I was excited to get this book based on the title and description, but at the same time, I knew I would look at the pictures for ideas and read some of the specific info on plants. Instead, I read Every Single Word! The photos are beyond beautiful and I have looked at each one repeatedly, but it’s the way the author writes that draws you in. I felt like I was having coffee with him while he told me the story of his garden. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in changing their outdoor space, and/or wants more ideas about plants, as there is plenty of info on that as well! Will always be the standard that I compare other books to!”

Makes a Great Gift

If you are wanting to give a gift to a friend who enjoys the thought of gardening, this book would make a great gift.  A lot of customers said they bought the book to give as gifts, and those who received it enjoyed reading it.  Here is hat one customer had to say, “Fun and inspiring. I will use it again as a gift book and know it will be enjoyed and used.”

Keeps Color All Growing Season Long

One of the nice things about layered gardening, is that the plan is to keep color in your garden for the whole growing season.  This is because plants are planned out to bloom at different times.  Here is a comment that a customer left pertaining to the beauty of having color year round, “Attended a lecture by this author and was impressed with his 20-year old garden which started from nothing. I am using the book this winter to plan next year’s constant perennial color. I wish the book were a bit more clear on do A / B / C. You need to listen to his chatting as if over coffee and dig out the gems. But it is a beautiful book with good information and I am eager to try some of his ideas. I will need to do additional research to see what will survive the deer in my Virginia garden. Not clear why the deer don’t devastate his garden. But I would recommend it as one of the few books that tries to tell you how to keep color year long.”

The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty


  • plus Shows you how to have color all year long
  • plus Nice photographs
  • plus Good for beginners and experts


  • close Not so much of a “how to book”
  • close People wanted more instruction
  • close Price

The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty  Conclusion

The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty is a book about layering.  It tells you how to choose correct plants and how to design a layered garden.  It also explains how the author maintains his own layered garden.  The author, David L. Culp writes from experience of growing his own layered garden. The book contains 312 pages with many colorful photographs.  This book is also available on Kindle.  Customers who bought this book, commented that it’s a great method to use when you have a small space for a garden.  This book should be helpful for both beginners and experts.  Many people who bought it, found it to be inspiring.

Common Questions

Here are some top questions that I found for people considering buying The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty.

  • chevron-circle-right Has David L. Culp written any other books?  No, David Culp has not written any other books.  However, he has had some of his articles featured in magazines, newspapers, and he has appeared on TV shows.  He has also traveled around on tours, given lectures, and has done book signings.  If you are interested in other articles Culp has written, click here to visit his website.
  • chevron-circle-right Who is the photographer?  The photographer is Rob Cardillo.  You can find out more about his photography by clicking here to visit his website.
  • chevron-circle-right Where does David Culp live?  David Culp lives in Pennsylvania, where he gardens his two-acre Brandywine Cottage garden.

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