Summer Notebook (Garden Hearth Traditions Home)

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9780060193874: Summer Notebook (Garden Hearth Traditions Home)

The Notebook

  • A seasonal scrapbook of gardening methods, recipes and tabletop designs.

  • Hands-on workbook format with pockets for clippings and graph paper for plans.

  • Tips on holiday festivities and decorating ideas with pages for notes.

  • Full-color instructions to creat magnificent bouquets from the summer garden.

  • Lists of favorite perennials and annuals for grow-your-own arrangments.

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Review:

Good intentions tend to bloom and fade like a perennial: next year, you'll dig up the border by the front walk and install those delphiniums you've always wanted; next year, you'll put up those abundant tomatoes so you can savor them during the depths of winter. To realize those good intentions, try organizing them with fashion designer and author Carolyne Roehm's Summer Notebook. Or, if your creative fields lie fallow once in a while (and whose don't?), borrow the seed of an idea from Roehm, who broadcasts her favorites for everyone's benefit.

This is a notebook (complete with grid paper for planning, lined pages for notes, and pouches for clippings), garden-design and flower color-combination guide, garden journal, recipe book--in essence, it's an idea book, a place to record your ideas and learn from Roehm's. The grounds of her Connecticut home, Weatherstone, serve as the canvas for her botanical muse. In the course of showing off her gardening victories, as well as admitting to her failures, we get chapters on Roehm's potager, inspired by Louis XIV's geometrically laid-out kitchen garden at Versailles; her quest for the perfect perennial border; the extreme state of her hydrangea envy and rose obsession; details of a Fourth of July celebration and a summer wedding held at Weatherstone; odes to peaches, corn, and tomatoes; and an "end paper" on the dread Japanese beetle.

All this, along with abundant color photos, recipes, floral-arrangement tips, and helpful hints like how to make your own floral preservative, make this inaugural installment in the Notebook series (Fall is next, of course) a unique addition to any avid gardener's library. --Stefanie Durbin

About the Author:

Carolyne Roehm, noted author and lifestyle contributor to Good Morning America, brings her gardening expertise to viewers weekly as the host of Country Homes, Country Gardens.

In 1991, Roehm, who had always taken great pleasure in indulging and surrounding herself with things she loved, decided to turn her personal passion for beauty and comfort into a fulfilling career. A longtime associate (and neighbor) of famed couturier, Oscar de la Renta, Roehm began her own fashion business, setting her designs apart from many others in the industry with her unflagging insistence on only the finest quality materials. Her designs quickly found a home with discriminating consumers, as her first year alone saw revenues exceeding $3 million. But Roehm's passion for beauty extended beyond the world of fashion, and she became determined to broaden her horizons accordingly.

Following a stint at the famed Paris flower shop, Moulie Savart, Roehm took the knowledge she gained there and put it into practical use for the everyday gardener. Resulting from her considerable experience, she takes great joy in revealing the many secrets she learned to help everyone achieve a bountiful and beautiful garden.

In 1997, Roehm published her first book, A Passion for Flowers (September 1997, HarperCollins Publishers) in which she detailed the experts' tricks to perfect gardening. A firm believer in luxury for everyone, Roehm feels that luxury doesn't necessarily mean expensive. Her breathtaking floral arrangements, for example, traditionally contain many common flowers such as carnations, marigolds, bleeding hearts, and Queen Anne's lace, which she collects from her own garden at her Connecticut home.

Roehm applies the fashion lessons she learned to her flowers. The familiar cry of "accessorize" is as important to arranging blooms as it is to one's own appearance. "I can't tell you how often I've seen a dress ruined with the wrong accessories," Roehm explains. "It's the same with flowers. Even the most beautiful flowers don't work if they're in the wrong vase or placed against the wrong background."

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