Editorial Review
Serene Gardens reveals how the Japanese approach to design and detail can be adapted to create peaceful, contemplative gardens. A finely illustrated volume, ranging from trees and shrubs, grasses and bamboo to waterfalls, bridges, ponds, paths, and fences.

From the Publisher
From earliest times, the formal gardens of Japan have represented the mountains and waterfalls, lakes and streams of the natural world. In their reverence for the landscape and the seasons, Japanese gardeners have always made exquisite use of natural materials, such as bamboo, rocks, and pebbles. Having explored the traditional Japanese approach to garden design from hill and pond gardens with their islands and bridges, and tea gardens with their stone lanterns and water features, to Zen dry gardens with their use of moss and pebbles. Yoko Kawaguchi shows Western gardeners how to recreate Japanese garden design and detail, whether in a tiny urban setting or a large country plot. Throughout, there is an abundance of practical suggestions for locally available plants and materials, and stunning views of gardens in America, Japan, and Europe are complemented by close-up details. An extensive directory offers suggestions for selecting plants to create the desired effect, and climate zone maps offer additional detail on their hardiness. No matter how small your outdoor space, Serene Gardens offers endless ideas for creating your own natural haven of peace and tranquility.

Reviewer: A reader from Napa Valley
I have checked out many books on Japanese gardening in the past ten years and this is my favorite. Includes design details and plant lists and the photos are gorgeous. You won't be sorry.

Reviewer: Nelis Willers from Pretoria, Gauteng South Africa
Kawaguchi captures the essential elements of serenity and beauty in near perfect balance with the 'how-to' hinted at in the subtitle.

The author succeeds in creating a book that is first and foremost a beautiful book, but also raises awareness as to the deeper consciousness of Japanese garden design. This is not a Readers Digest Gardening Guide, with silly pictures and numbered steps. Instead she takes you on journey, leading you to discover and to appreciate, as she unfolds the finer art with sensitivity. The book is beautifully illustrated, well designed and well constructed.

Serene Gardens first introduces the reader to the traditional Japanese garden, and then proceeds to demonstrate how plants, rocks, water and sand should be used in the garden. She discusses paths, bridges, and constructions like pergolas en fences - and provides clear instructions on how to construct these. In conclusion, the book ends with a brief plant directory, listing suitable plants, ranging from trees, grasses/bamboos, berries and aquatic plants. The list includes alternative, non-traditional plants.

'Serene Gardens' works on the coffee table as well as in the garden. It is a book that can be enjoyed, as the garden itself is enjoyed.