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Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love

As a first-time homeowner and big fan of DIY, I am desperate for good solid advice on how to get things done in and around our new home. How exactly do you install an interior door? What’s the best way to choose paint colors? How long should the grass be cut? How often? Can we build a deck ourselves? How hard is it really? Above all of these concerns is the big question – How will our home and landscaping best fit our family’s personality and lifestyle? How do we want to live?

I love thinking about these questions and rely on the books at our library to lead me to new and exciting ideas. That’s why I’m so pleased to introduce you to Julie Moir Messervy’s new book Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love. It is truly the best book I’ve read on planning a landscape for your home. It discusses why landscaping matters at an individual and community level, and how Americans have become disconnected from nature and slave to the boring “democratic front lawn”.

The thing I like most is that this is a process book. It leads you through steps that help you to imagine and create a holistic landscaping plan that will fit your personality and neighborhood. Primary to the process is mapping out your property and noting characteristics like trees, good and bad views, prevailing winds, sun and shade. Small exercises help the reader hone in on design and style preferences. All of this is supplemented with plenty of good photographic examples.

For the first time, I’m thinking about my yard as a whole! Not just how one or two corners look and where I’m going to put the compost bin. Highly recommended for those with both big yards and small.


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