EVEN IF YOU have someone who works your garden for you — but more so if you don't — you might want to check out Dane Rose's new book, "Successfully Landscaping Your Marin Home."
Rose, who's worked as a San Rafael landscape designer and installer for the past 20 years, teaches gardening for community education classes and will be teaching a course, based on this book, at College of Marin this summer.
Short chapters include tips on mulch, humane deer and mole management, grading, terracing, planning and saving money on garden design.
There's very little "filler" that you have to wade through to get the major points. Instead, there are lots of bullet points of quick information. Even if you don't like to read or haven't the time for it, you should find this book quite easy to navigate.
Finally, it's tailor-made for Marin; Rose points you to specific resources. For example, if you need to till a large, flat area, Rose suggests you rent a Barreto tiller at Tam Valley Rentals in Mill Valley or United Rentals in San Rafael. He gives you their phone numbers and tells you to "expect to spend around $100 for four hours."
Because this book was designed to be helpful, Rose wants people to be armed with information to avoid making mistakes.
The most expensive mistake people make is doing a garden in steps without having an overall garden plan, he says. "It looks jumbled and not integrated and then they have to pay to undo and redo things, which costs far more than any design fee. The chapters on design address this."
Another common mistake is doing things in stages without understanding the costs, he says. "If the same design is broken into stages that make sense for an installer, it can be 30 percent less expensive than a design that is broken up arbitrarily."
Gardeners can also save money on soil amending, he says. "People spend twice as much money as necessary. Rototilling chicken compost into native soil is better and a lot less expensive than adding premixed topsoil to the surface of existing soil."
Here are Rose's top five garden tips:
BUY THE BOOK
"Successfully Landscaping Your Marin Home" (210 pages, CreateSpace, $20) is available at Book Passage in Corte Madera and, soon, at Book Depot in Mill Valley. It's also available online at Amazon or www.mysticallandscapes.com.
By: PJ Bremier, published in the Marin IJ
"Dane seems to love creating a beautiful world and sharing his knowledge."
“Successfully Landscaping Your Marin Home” helped me tremendously in gaining insight about landscaping and answered all the questions and concerns I had about improving my yard on a budget that was right for me."
- Five star Amazon Review