When the folks at Taunton Press asked if I would like a review copy of Julie Moir Messervy's new book — plus one to give away to readers — I didn't hesitate. My husband and I have no reservations in saying that the book which had the most profound effect on the process of designing our garden was "The Inward Garden: Creating a Place of Beauty and Meaning" by Julie Moir Messervy (with unforgettable photos by Sam Abell). If you've been following the Wednesday "Odyssey" posts about the history of that project, you've already read our praises of Messervy's talents.
Not only did we fall in love with her books and ideas, but we were equally smitten with the dry sand garden (above) at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, known as Tenshin-en: The Garden of the Heart of Heaven, where Messervy collaborated on the design with Japanese garden master, Kinsaku Nakane.
All of Messervy's books are intelligent, inspirational — and variations on a theme. She has a very specific method of approaching a project; and it's fascinating to see how Messervy applies her basic principles to widely varying locations, climates and budgets. Her latest publication, "Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love," is also the most accessible.
This is an endeavor whose every page is packed with information and ideas and yet there's plenty of visual breathing space. And it's a book whose message is perfect for its time: Home is where the heart is and where many of us are hunkering down; renovating rather than relocating. We'll be looking for ways to add more living space, comfort and beauty to our homes and Messervy is here to show us how to do it by going outside the walls of our houses.