Comps for the proposed redesign of this “bible of Western gardening”—more than 8,000 plant listings, as well as chunky sections on how to select and care for them all (step one: carve out some time. 8,000 plants is a lot!). To update this 9th edition, I opened up the grid, introduced bright, modern colors, and suggested cleaner, friendlier typefaces; the basic visual structure of the book, which gardeners are by now well accustomed to and happy with, changed very little.


A pared-down manuscript and the removal of some dated illustrations helps to keep the layout from becoming too crowded. I developed colorful new sidebar treatments featuring button-like icons to identify their content, which provide welcome interruption to the density of the massive plant encyclopedia and enliven the composition. Picture captions occur in blocks at the end of text columns rather than beside each image.