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The Layered Garden

Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage

By David L. Culp

With Adam Levine

Photographs by Rob Cardillo

“Gardenmaking, in its finest form, is a celebration of life and of love. David and his book epitomize this.” —Lauren Springer Ogden

Brandywine Cottage is David Culp's beloved two-acre Pennsylvania garden where he mastered the design technique of layering—interplanting many different species in the same area so that as one plant passes its peak, another takes over. The result is a nonstop parade of color that begins with a tapestry of heirloom daffodils and hellebores in spring and ends with a jewel-like blend of Asian wildflowers at the onset of winter.

The Layered Garden shows you how to recreate Culp's majestic display. It starts with a basic lesson in layering—how to choose the correct plants by understanding how they grow and change throughout the seasons, how to design a layered garden, and how to maintain it. To illustrate how layering works, Culp takes you on a personal tour through each part of his celebrated garden: the woodland garden, the perennial border, the kitchen garden, the shrubbery, and the walled garden. The book culminates with a chapter dedicated to signature plants for all four seasons.

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Meet the Authors
David L. Culp headshot

David L. Culp

More about the author
Adam Levine headshot

Adam Levine

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Rob Cardillo headshot

Rob Cardillo

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Review quotes

“So imaginative is Culp’s genius and so resourceful his passion for plants and design that his layered garden offers more sensory delights per square foot than most gardens manage to achieve over acres.” —Booklist

“Spellbinding writing and Cardillo’s breathtaking photos entice readers through Culp’s woodland garden. An essential title in the ‘how I did it’ genre of garden writing.” —Library Journal

“I love the book. . . . It teaches us how to design and maintain a complex, layered garden.” —Garden Rant

“Offers the perfect blend of inspiration and practical advice. Readers will come away with plenty of ideas and guidance to create their own layered, four-season gardens wherever they live.” —American Gardener

“This is one for your must read list. . . . and it would make a wonderful gift for anyone who loves plants and gardens.” —A Charlotte Garden

“Culp shares the beauty of Brandywine and some of his garden-design secrets.” —McClatchy-Tribune News

“If you are planning to design or redesign a space next spring and summer, this is a wonderful guide to choose.” —Northern Gardener

“A visual feast of inspiration combined with practical advice on how to put together a garden that shines throughout the year. A great winter read.” —Detroit News

“A good choice for people trying to correct their jumbled mess of a landscape.” —Harrisburg Patriot-News

“An overview of how to plant for climate change and aesthetics to create a garden that’s dynamic in every season.”  —The Strategist  

Product Details
Number of pages
Publication date
October 16, 2012