Gardens of the Bay Area

May flowers—has your garden begun to bloom?

Private Gardens of the Bay Area

Lowry, Susan. by Susan Lowry and Nancy Berner; photographs by Marion Brenner Monacelli Press, 2017
256p, 9781580934763 $60.00

Private Gardens of the Bay Area book cover

Blessed with a very plant-friendly climate, it’s no wonder that the parts of northern California included in this survey are home to some spectacular gardens. This magnificently illustrated chronicle is a visual feast of botanical wonders encompassing an extraordinary range of plants. Add to this collection a group of passionate owners dedicated to the principles of garden design, and the result is truly captivating. Four areas—the Peninsula, San Francisco, East Bay, and Marin-Sonoma-Napa—are the geographic loci for 39 gardens described in the brief texts that accompany Brenner’s exquisite color photographs. The views are sometimes vistas, sometimes more intimate. Lowry and Berner, both garden writers, present a brief historical survey of area influences in garden-making and offer their rationale for the selections they have made. Anyone interested in landscape design and possible plant materials for the particular conditions of soil and climate in northern California will find this text quite useful. Gardeners all over the world will likely wish they could garden in the Bay area after glimpsing the range of types of garden landscapes illustrated and described in this book.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.
Reviewer: L. G. Kavaljian, California State University, Sacramento
Subject: Science & Technology – Biology – Botany
Choice Issue: June 2018