“The Less is More Garden,” Book Giveaway

– Posted in: Contests and Giveaways, Garden Design

Update, Sat. Feb. 10: AND THE WINNER IS…Susie Johnson! I’ve notified her and “The Less is More Garden” will soon be on its way to her from publisher Timber Press.
Many, many thanks to all of you for participating! — Debra

Author/Landscape Designer Susan Morrison

I’ve long admired the wit and wisdom of Bay Area landscape designer Susan Morrison, whom I see at garden events and follow on Facebook. So when I found out she’d authored The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing Your Small Yard (Timber Press, 2018), I knew I had to have it.

Enter to win a copy of The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing Your Small Yard, simply by leaving a comment below. (To qualify, you must be 18 or older and have a mailing address in the US or Canada.) The winner will be chosen at random and notified via email Sat., Feb. 10. I’ll also put the winner’s name at the top of this post. Best of luck! 

If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to attend presentations by Susan Morrison and myself during the 2018 Northwest Flower and Garden Show. I’m presenting on Designing with Succulents Wed., Feb. 7 at 11:15 and Thurs., Feb. 8 at 12:30. Morrison is presenting Thurs., Feb. 8. at 2:15; Sat., Feb. 10 at 3:00, and doing “Container Wars” Sat, Feb. 11 at 11:30. 

Here’s Morrison’s “less is more philosophy” of garden design:

— Less space, more enjoyment
— Less effort, more beauty
— Less maintenance, more relaxation
— Less gardening-by-the-numbers, more YOU.

In The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing Your Small Yard, Morrison’s practical, readable style expands on key points via case studies and illustrations anyone can relate to. The book is full of light-bulb moments. You find yourself thinking, “Why, yes, of course,” while wondering why such terrific insights on gardens, design, and outdoor enhancements hadn’t dawned on you before.

Susan Morrison owns Creative Exteriors Landscape Design, located in the East Bay near San Francisco.

Some Morrison gems

Every page and caption in the book contains kernels of wisdom that can be put to practical use. For example:

— “Just as the kitchen is the heart of the home, the patio is the center of the backyard.”

— “Avoid hard benches, undersized seating, or essentially anything that makes the backyard less comfortable to be in.”

— “A table for dining on one side and a lounge chair for relaxing on the other establish two garden destinations in a relatively small area.”

— “Create one strong or meandering curve as a counterpoint to the more rigid shapes elsewhere in the yard.”

— “Angular stone [gravel] compacts more efficiently [than rounded gravel] and therefore makes for a more stable walking surface.”

Now it’s your turn! Leave a comment and you’re automatically entered to win a copy of The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing Your Small Yard. See you in Seattle? Say yes! 

Debra Lee Baldwin
Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified, all Timber Press bestsellers. Her goal is to enhance others' enjoyment and awareness of waterwise plants and gardens by showcasing the beauty and design potential of succulents via books, articles, newsletters, photos, videos, social media and more. Debra and husband Jeff live in the foothills north of San Diego. She grew up in Southern California on an avocado ranch, speaks conversational Spanish, and at age 18 graduated magna cum laude from USIU with a degree in English Literature. Her hobbies include thrifting, birding and watercolor painting. Debra's YouTube channel has had over 3,000,000 views.
Debra Lee Baldwin
Debra Lee Baldwin
93 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

CC COLE February 3, 2018, 7:30 am

in the last few years, I started my less is more by adding more perennials. would like to win to learn other ways to continue by quest. thanks!

Jenny February 3, 2018, 7:40 am

I am always looking for ideas for my small garden areas. That passage about comfort hit home. We have some teak chairs that stand up to all weather but are not too comfortable.

Susie February 3, 2018, 7:54 am

just downsized from a 20 acre farm to a lovely 1/2 acre property with beautiful tall trees, ready to design the rest of the “grounds”

Mary Ahern February 3, 2018, 8:02 am

Although my half acre garden feels huge to me, it is small compared to those of my many gardening friends. Size is relative I guess.

Kathy livingston February 3, 2018, 8:15 am

My garden needs to look unified. It is just a jumble of mismatched plamts. Wish I could gets iPad to let me use capital letters.

Tracy February 3, 2018, 8:34 am

I would love to win this book

Tracy February 3, 2018, 8:35 am

I want and need this book

Carolyn February 3, 2018, 8:42 am

Recently moved from big home, vast garden to villa with small garden space. Just what I need as I develope a plan. Wish I were visiting the show!

Belinda February 3, 2018, 8:46 am

Always enjoy the posts on this blog. Thanks!

Jean Nordstrom February 3, 2018, 9:15 am

This looks like a wonderful garden book . I agree with her ideas on making good use of small space within the garden.

Cathi Lamoreux February 3, 2018, 9:27 am

This is a perfect book for the times. Susan’s books always give me so many ideas!

Dianne Short February 3, 2018, 9:27 am

I have a small garden and it is a challenge! Love gardening gone wild; lots of inspiration.

Shirley kost February 3, 2018, 9:29 am

Wou love to have this book and sorry ? I can’t make the show!!

Shirley kost February 3, 2018, 9:31 am

would love to have this book

Angela February 3, 2018, 9:40 am

I could use some of these ideas

Cindy February 3, 2018, 9:44 am

I love That this book is so creative and opens my mind to new ideas i can implement easily.

kristina February 3, 2018, 10:27 am

I have the less – a small yard. I need to make it more with some good ideas.

Christy Bradley February 3, 2018, 10:37 am

I love Ms. Morrison’s philosophy. Some of us, however, are blessed/burdened/stuck with large gardens and many of her design suggestions can also be applied to large properties. Creating intimate areas within a garden, interesting pathways and comfortable areas in which to relax can help to make a large area more inviting. I will look forward to reading this great sounding new book!

Anita Taylor February 3, 2018, 10:40 am

This would be the perfect book to help me design my small garden. I love to garden but I am not creative. I am unable to capitalize.

Jamie h February 3, 2018, 11:11 am

I’m working to design my own urban small space garden and looking for inspiration. This book sounds like just the thing I need

Jennifer February 3, 2018, 11:52 am

the book looks amazing!

mARY jANE yURCHAK February 3, 2018, 11:54 am


Jan h. February 3, 2018, 11:58 am

Less maintenance, more relaxation sounds great!

Jan h. February 3, 2018, 12:00 pm

Less maintenance, more relaxation sounds great! I’m looking forward to that!

Mary Ann thompson February 3, 2018, 12:21 pm

Loved all the quotes from the “less is more garden”. The last quote regarding use of gravel really hits on something that many gardeners didn’t know. In our area (lewis county in SW washington) we have a quarry that produces beautiful black rock. their 5/8 minus grade of rock that contains all the fines from crushing makes a wonderful path, road, whatever you need as all the fines allow it to compact beautifully. Use of that kind of material will prevent many problems in path building.

peggy Green zachariou February 3, 2018, 12:29 pm

This would be perfect for our backyard remodel!

ALEXIS PENZELL February 3, 2018, 12:48 pm

I love your website!!! And this “Less is more” approach to the garden/patio area is just what I need. I tend to get lost when buying plants and end up with a hodgepodge. without a solid plan, my patio never looks just quite right. I’d love Susan’s book!

Bracey tiede February 3, 2018, 12:51 pm

Would love to win the book.

Gail February 3, 2018, 12:58 pm

Love her less is more philosophy.

Margaret Paz-Partlow February 3, 2018, 1:06 pm

I would welcome owning a book that helps me simplify my garden while increasing my pleasure in it. If I am not lucky enough to win it it’s purchase is probably in the future of our seaside Oregon garden

Carol Jordan February 3, 2018, 1:07 pm

I am always looking for new ideas. adding curves will be on my list.

judith mallory February 3, 2018, 1:56 pm

Thank you for a helpful and informative blog. I would love to win the book!

John February 3, 2018, 2:49 pm

I’m a sucker for just about any garden book that’s out there. Thanks for the giveaway.

Carina Cassidy February 3, 2018, 3:34 pm

I always subscribe to the theory that less is more in life and in the garden

Roberta Perez February 3, 2018, 3:36 pm

I would love to win this great book! Since less is more especially in drought & parched Southern California.

Nancy Shiffman February 3, 2018, 3:44 pm

Looks like a wonderful book!

Janet February 3, 2018, 3:56 pm

Less effort, more beauty! Yes!

Serge February 3, 2018, 4:35 pm

Hi Debra! Love the initiative, love your blog to which I’m suscribes vía RSS. I think that book is perfect for those of us living in a tiny apartment with an even tinier balcony who still give a try at having a bit of nature off hand. Unfortunately only when weather permits. Greetings from eastern Canada!

paula February 3, 2018, 5:27 pm

i’d love to read this book.

Jeanne February 3, 2018, 5:31 pm

Love everything Susan Morrison does – this book sounds Great!!!

Jeanne February 3, 2018, 5:32 pm

Sounds like a Great book!!!

Gail February 3, 2018, 5:42 pm

The simplicity of this book title is desirable 🙂

Gail February 3, 2018, 5:52 pm

Just the book cover works for me~!

Kenneth m. batchelor February 3, 2018, 6:34 pm

Looks like a wonderful book. I’m entered!

Ina Penberthy February 3, 2018, 6:38 pm

Counting down the hours to the 2018 Northwest FLOwer and garden show!

Doug Berry February 3, 2018, 6:47 pm

Looks like for me to read. I hope you’ll be presenting at the SF GARDEN SHOW IN APRIL. I’d like to hear you there.

Terri H February 3, 2018, 6:58 pm

Thanks for the chance to win! Love your blog

Mary Nelson February 3, 2018, 8:23 pm

This book is exactly what I need in order to do the landscaping at our house. We have a small yard and many trees. I want to have a better focal point, seating and also a better design than what I can think of on my own. I need ideas. The designs featured in this book are awesome.

Chris N February 3, 2018, 9:29 pm

It looks like a great book!

Carlin Ellison February 3, 2018, 10:34 pm

susan morrison’s book sounds like exactly what i need! sure hope i win.

Dell February 3, 2018, 11:14 pm

I have over 200 perennials, Shrubs, and trees in a pretty small front and back garden at my home. I think this book would help me with some new ideas for a small space. I love having so much, but it’s not always us easy!

Theodora Gurns February 4, 2018, 12:36 am

Wowser! The quote snippets contain garden wisdom. Thank you.

Camille cappello February 4, 2018, 12:44 am

Thank you for all of the wonderful insights

Pat Roach February 4, 2018, 12:49 am

I would love to have this book. I need lots of tips on less is more to help me transform my small backyard into a relaxing retreat. Thank you for your generosity!

Eveline young February 4, 2018, 1:51 am

With the trends foi g to smaller spaces this book is just what is needed!

shirley Martin February 4, 2018, 2:45 am

This book would be an excellent resource for me as I look for solutions for my new small back yard with a hill in the back. Help!

Susie johnson February 4, 2018, 3:49 am

I have multiple small sized garden beds in my landscaping. I have been wanting to redo them with some new and creative ideas. They are starting to look a bit neglected. it would be an uplift to my garden and me. I also get pure enjoyment out of reading garden books.

galia gilad Navon February 4, 2018, 3:55 am

aS A GARDEN DESIGNER ,I would love having the book TO ADD TO MY LIBRARY/

Mary February 4, 2018, 7:28 am

Hope I win!

Betsy Block February 4, 2018, 7:37 am

This is exactly the book I need right now! Can’t wait to read it

Lacey Miller February 4, 2018, 8:39 am

What a lovely book concept!

Kim Cox February 4, 2018, 9:28 am

I would love to win this book!

Karen Andersen February 4, 2018, 11:12 am

The timing for this book is ideal as I am seeking to downsize my home and gardens shortly!

Edie Isaacs February 4, 2018, 12:22 pm

Wow. This looks like a must-have garden design book. I’ m not happy with my yard and have been studying Debra’s books and following Laura eubanks for inspiration.

Katie February 4, 2018, 12:22 pm

Looks like a fabulous book, thanks for the chance to win!

Kate Thaete February 4, 2018, 12:29 pm

What a great concept! Cant wait to read this!

Nancy February 4, 2018, 1:14 pm

I have a small front yard (on a 10 acre avocado grove.) We re designed it with succulents 3 years ago (water bills). But it is always evolving, so new ideas are welcome.

Barbara patterson February 4, 2018, 1:37 pm

This book sounds like the inspiration I need to help my mom with her tiny condo ‘yard’. It’s pretty depressing right now. Help, please!

KAREN TANDY February 4, 2018, 2:51 pm

This book looks like one I really need. Thanks for the chance to win it.
I enjoy your blog very much, and I’m counting the days till I can get out into the garden again!!

Lynn Wocell February 4, 2018, 5:15 pm

Bought home in Socal 5 months ago with small garden and patio area that I am redoing with all succulents and cactus. Hard to decide what to have or not because I love them all–and to keep it minimal design wise.

Candice suter February 4, 2018, 5:51 pm

Sounds like a fabulous book!

CAROL DEROMA February 4, 2018, 7:45 pm

Every day is a new learning experience in the garden. As we place each new plant in soil, we take another breath.

Theresa ann macari February 4, 2018, 11:22 pm

I Want to take a walk on the wild side. Hope i win the book!

Jenny Hawkins February 4, 2018, 11:59 pm


Jessica Barg February 5, 2018, 2:36 am

I’m a late “bloomer” when it comes to gardening. *See what I did there ?* I could definitely use help and direction while getting started and this book looks like it would fit the bill!

Piper February 5, 2018, 7:26 am

I’m excited to read this! I love the idea of :
— Less maintenance, more relaxation !

Sharon B. February 5, 2018, 4:55 pm

Yes, we all love those destination lounge chairs, so just WHERE do you keep those cushions. Hope the book will tell me…..

Gillian February 5, 2018, 9:01 pm

I live in tropical Australia where I have a small garden chock a block full of tropical flowers, herbs fruit and veggies. Once a year I travel to visit my daughter in North Georgia, and they purchased a home last year. My brief last year was to create curb appeal out the front and a socializing area out the back! this year it is to create a children s playground and fairy garden and plant some fruit trees. I enjoy the challenge but it sure would be great to get some ideas!

KV GREEN HOMES CREATOR PVT. LTD February 6, 2018, 12:11 am

book looks amazing..

Debbie February 6, 2018, 12:50 am

Looking for some inspiration to refresh my succulent garden in a tiny urban backyard. This book look perfect!

Kathy dececco February 6, 2018, 5:43 am

Great ideas!!

Colleen February 6, 2018, 10:10 am

A small garden can be challenging because I want one of everything.

Ayesha dunn February 6, 2018, 10:27 am

can’t wait to check this book out.

Carla C February 6, 2018, 11:26 am

I only have room for a small garden right now, so this book would be great.

Rebecca Burlingham February 6, 2018, 1:37 pm

i would love to try applying the less is more philosophy to my large yard. It needs help.

Pat February 6, 2018, 8:15 pm

This sounds like a fantastic book!

meredith r February 7, 2018, 12:53 am

Love the philosophy behind the book. Thanks for sharing!

Trish February 9, 2018, 8:27 pm

I wld luv to learn from your book

Diana GoingD February 10, 2018, 1:49 am

Wow, this could be a great book for me. after a lifetime of living on small acreages, with plenty of gardening space. In the past year, I have been downsized by the constraints of a 60′ X 115′ lot. Downsizing in every way, inside and out! I now scrutinize every plant I read about and every plant tag at nurseries for eventual size. I am finding if I stay with the small varieties, I can still get a lot into my small space! Less is more ~ my New Mantra!

Lori Key February 10, 2018, 2:28 am

Sounds like the perfect book for me. Would love to win a copy!

Lisa - Ontario February 12, 2018, 1:52 pm


Kathy February 20, 2018, 8:33 pm

I love the garden chair and plan!

Interioristas Bilbao December 17, 2018, 2:55 pm

Thanks for the article, we have loved both the photographs and the text of the article. All the ideas have been very inspiring, we will put them into practice

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