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Bettering homes from the outside, in

Bettering homes from the outside, in

P. Allen Smith, popular television personality and best selling author, has recently designed his fifth book for Clarkston Potter Publishers, an imprint of Random House Inc. All five books in P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home Book series are of similar design with sizing that makes for a “must have” set in your home library. P. Allen Smith covers every aspect of gardening in his five books with the newest volume, P, Allen Smith’s Bringing the Garden Indoors, covering containers, crafts and bouquets for every room.

Best known for his lush outdoor gardens with vivid color in lavish flowerbeds, patio containers and expansive lawns; P. Allen Smith takes us indoors with his newest book. He challenges gardeners to use the fruits of their labor to create an aesthetic indoors that will be more attractive and enjoyable for family and guests. He emphasizes throughout the book the use of replicating designs and the incorporation of one’s collections for staging and containing plants and floral arrangements.

Smith divides the content of Bringing the Garden Indoors into five chapters. He begins with the often over-looked Entrance to the Home and continues with four more family areas — Kitchen and Dining Room, Living Room, Bedroom and Bath, and last Outdoor Dining. Within each of the five sections of the book he gives the reader projects to consider. These engaging and doable projects are numbered one through sixty-three and are divided among the five chapters.

While enjoying this book, gardeners both novice and skilled will learn how to select appropriate house plants, use flowering shrubbery indoors, grow a citrus tree indoors and how to force bulbs to bloom. You will be encouraged to change foyers with the changing seasons and you will learn to complement a favorite piece of art with your flower arrangements.

As is his hallmark, Allen shares many tricks of the trade throughout this gorgeous new Garden Home Book. In highlighted format, he gives “ hints from Heloise” style suggestions marked by a green daisy or asterisk. One example included on page 87 is water-ring removal, “to remove a water ring in a glass flower vase, fill the vase with a 50-50 solution of water and white vinegar and let it soak overnight.” I found these hints to be very helpful and easily accomplished.

Chock full of useful information, Bringing the Garden Indoors, is my favorite of the P. Allen Smith books because, while it is a great book for gardeners it is also a book of interior design. You do not have to be an avid gardener to find this book useful. The projects while creative are easily accomplished in short bursts of time with little energy expended. Smith even included a recipe for a delicious lemon chess pie. “Something for Everyone” would best describe this book by P. Allen Smith.

—Mary Emrick

Turning Pages Books & More, Natchez

Bringing the Garden Indoors

by P. Allen Smith

(Clarkston Potter)

Hard Cover: $32.50

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