Book Review // Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor Living

Book review Gardenista Littlegreenshed Blog

The Gardenista website is one of my favourite reads, ‘a sourcebook for cultivated living’, it has everything that a garden/plant obsessed person needs.   So when I was asked if I wanted to review a copy of their book ‘Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor Living’ I leapt at the chance.

gardenista book review littlegreenshed
Image extracted (with permission) from Gardenista by Michelle Slatalla (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2016. Photographs by Matthew Williams

One of my favourite things to do, is to nose around a garden.  Beautiful clipped topiary, the heady scent of roses, and perfectly formed seating areas tick all my boxes.  I love gardens that are used, lived in and loved by their owners.  Not ones that appear on garden make over programmes, filled with blue pots and jaunty wavy fences.

If you are like me and love a garden which has evolved over time, yet has a design element too, then you will love this book.

The book starts off with the Gardenista Manifesto, ten rules to live by:

  1. Outdoor space is living space, and should be carefully considered as any other room in your home.
  2. Curb appeal counts.  The experience visitors have as they walk up to your front door makes them feel at home.
  3. Spend on permanence.  Investing in quality hardscape materials gives your garden good bones.
  4. Plant for the garden you will have five years from now; sow seeds, buy small pots and trade cuttings. Your patience will save you lots of money in the long run.
  5. A hedge makes a better neighbour than a fence.
  6. Buy beautiful tools and you will enjoy using them for a lifetime.
  7. Make your garden part of your daily routine by planting something you can eat for dinner. (parsley counts)
  8. A dash of colour, whether paint or plants, sets the mood for an outdoor space.
  9. The view from your bedroom window should include something that blooms every Spring.
  10. Choose personality over perfection; a little wildness in the garden is a good thing.

Perfect isn’t it.  This manifesto sets the tone to the book…

gardenista book review littlegreenshed
Image extracted from (with permission) Gardenista by Michelle Slatalla (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2016. Photographs by Matthew Williams

Thirteen gardens are featured, with a ‘steal this look’ section directly afterwards.  Towards the back are helpful tutorials from making your own planters, to installing an outside shower.

I love this book, it’s so refreshing. A gardening book and some.  Perfect gift for those who love plants and design.



Michelle Slatalla, with the editors of Gardenista

Publication Date: 1st November 2016

Price: £28.99

Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed.  A UK lifestyle & travel blog

Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.