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I cannot say enough great things about this book.  Jan Johnson hit a home run when she found the photos and the words to create this gift.  Sometimes books on gardening tend to either be too wordy with not enough photos or vice versa….too many photos and not enough words.  Trying to create a balance can be difficult, but Jan Johnson proved that it could be done.

The book is not very big in stature, but it is packed with information that can be used whether you are a landscaper or a private homeowner.  In the first chapter called  The Power of  Place, Jan describes how we can certainly create our own personal spaces that would feed our souls and strengthen our well being.  Jan Johnson demonstrated this by sharing examples on landscaped sites she designed  or was inspired by, that give inspiration and cause one to reflect.   One of my favorite chapters is Chapter 3 –  Calling on the trees.

Chapter 3 shares a bit of history about trees and how they should be revered and respected. Trees can create positive moods and have been celebrated for many century’s for their mystical powers.  In Buddist tradition, trees are adorned with tags that have positive thoughts written on them.  The wind, as it meanders through the tree branches, blows these positive thoughts into the air, giving wings to the possibility that these wishes will come true. Jan also eloquently shares how trees speak to us.  Certain trees have certain attributes that we identify with.  The Ash tree helps us maintain a positive outlook, while the Beech promotes tolerance and inner strength.  The Hawthron helps us be in the present, right here at this very moment and the Hazel inspires creative endeavors and healing.

The rest of this book offers thought’s on water, rocks and color,  As I continued to read, I found myself thinking about some of the visions that I incorporated in client spaces that just made sense to me….and now my thought processes have been qualified.  Certain plant combinations, certain rocks that I love and certain characteristics of trees that I hold dear to my heart…it is as if inside, I knew that gardening is a highly spiritual experience.  Connecting Heaven and gardening is a win win scenario in my opinion.  Thank you Jan Johnson for the words and the pictures.  Of the 44 places listed of gardens to visit for inspiration and example, I only have 38 more to go!  Looking forward to the gardening journey with this book by my side.

I strongly suggest this book for holiday gift giving or for a personal read during this season of nesting.

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