The former editor of meets a very real need in this realistic approach to the problems of landscaping a small suburban plot. It is a matter of selection of information, rather than novelty of material -- and he has done an admirable job. The information included is based on the assumption that, while the reader can use a dictionary to look up terms, he may be woefully ignorant of some of the hows as well as the whys. He includes some very sound advice such as ""avoid bargains"" --""don't undertake more than you can handle"" etc. He goes into the basic principles of relating plans to environment, to neighbors, to purpose of garden; he discusses pros and cons of special types of gardens, hadges vs fences, to have a vegetable garden or not. And-when he comes to actual garden material, he supplies excellent lists, not too elaborate for the beginner- and suggests sources of further information. But perhaps the most valuable part of the book lies in the simple, direct instructions on successive phases of gardening, many of the inclusions things only too often bypassed. Excellent.