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Naturalistic planting styles have become very popular in recent years. Ecological issues and a desire to get closer to nature have led many people to explore a new way of planting and maintaining gardens. Such plantings can be strikingly beautiful, evoking all that is most attractive in the natural landscape. Most successful gardens, too, are underpinned by good spatial design and a thorough knowledge of planting combinations, qualities which still apply to the wilder garden.
The authors describe the history of the naturalistic genre, and review the various ways in which designers are applying naturalism today. They analyse plantings both in nature and in a selection of gardens, in order to describe how the natural effects can be achieved.