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About Jan Johnsen
An engaging writer and speaker, Jan Johnsen has been in the landscape design and horticulture professions for over four decades. She has worked in Kenya, Japan, Hawaii and across the US. She was awarded the 2019 Award of Distinction by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD).
Her garden design book, Gardentopia - Design Basics for Creating Beautiful Outdoor Spaces (Countryman Press, 2019) joins her other books, Floratopia (Countryman Press, 2021), Heaven is a Garden (St Lynn's Press, 2014) and The Spirit of Stone (St Lynn's Press, 2017).
Here is an April, 2019 review of Gardentopia from Marianne Willburn in her Small Town Gardener site (link is below) -
"Maybe all you'd like to do this year is add some professional touches to your garden. Gardentopia by garden designer Jan Johnsen can help you do that. It's elegant, beautifully laid out and easy to read - quite simply one of the best design books for gardeners who aren't designers.
Johnsen provides a huge array of design tips and doesn't make them unnecessarily complicated - encouraging the reader and sparking their creativity.
It's the type of book you can pick up for 20 minutes or 2 hours and come back to again and again. I'm extremely lucky that sometimes I get a sneak preview of some of the best new books out there" –
Jan is co-principal of Johnsen Landscapes & Pools, www.johnsenlandscapes.com. She was an adjunct professor at Columbia University and teaches at NY Botanical Garden. In 2014 the Association for Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) awarded her firm a Merit Award in residential landscape design. Her Facebook pages are 'Heaven is a Garden' and 'Serenity in the Garden blog'. She lives in Westchester County, NY.
For a schedule of upcoming lectures and workshops, please visit http://www.serenityinthegarden.blogspot.com. She is available to speak to groups: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer Jewell of the NSPR program,'Cultivating Place', said in a September 2016 review:
"Even on a Monday - Heaven IS a garden.... Enjoyed so many things about @jan.johnsen 's book on garden design concepts entitled Heaven is a Garden(@stlynnspress), but perhaps my favorite was the way she covers the idea that all gardens have a "power spot". This caught me and rang so true to every garden with which I've had a relationship: that one place where the energy causes pause, where the light gathers or simply where you are drawn or re-freshed by being there for no reason you can put your finger on. In my own little new suburban garden I'm considering the way we shape space - find and cultivate this moment of energetic exchange or pause. Thank you Jan Johnsen for the thought provoking pages! "
The 2016 summer issue of Garden Design magazine featured Jan's design tips. In their website they also shared some tips: website - http://www.gardendesign.com/landscape-design/tips.htm
The June 2015 Garden Bunch review of her 2014 garden design book,'Heaven is a Garden - Designing Serene Outdoor Spaces for Inspiration and Reflection' (St. Lynn's Press), says:
"When’s the last time you read a gardening book cover to cover, all in one sitting? Up until a few weeks ago, my answer to that question would have been, “A gardening book? NEVER.” But then I read “Heaven is a Garden.” Cover to cover. All in one sitting. And then I read it again. I’ll probably read it again – it’s that captivating! Highly recommended."
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“Gardentopia is that rare marriage of the art of landscaping and the technical knowledge of how to compose a landscape—boiled down to readily understood and easily executed actions. This book puts you in the driver’s seat and shows you how to chart the course to your own personal garden utopia.” - Margie Grace, Grace Design Associates
Any backyard has the potential to refresh and inspire if you know what to do. Jan Johnsen’s new book, Gardentopia: Design Basics for Creating Beautiful Outdoor Spaces, will delight all garden lovers with over 130 lushly illustrated landscape design and planting suggestions. Ms. Johnsen is an admired designer and popular speaker whose hands-on approach to “co-creating with nature” will have you saying, “I can do that!’
This info-packed, sumptuous book offers individual tips for enhancing any size landscape using ‘real world’ solutions. The suggestions are grouped into five categories that include Garden Design and Artful Accents, Walls, Patios, and Steps and Plants and Planting, among others. Whether you are an experienced gardener or a landscaping novice, Gardentopia will inspire you with tips such as ‘Soften a Corner”, “Paint it Black”, and “Hide and Reveal”.
Create a floral haven with help from a celebrated garden designer and flower lover.
Jan Johnsen’s latest book, Floratopia: 110 Flower Garden Ideas for Your Yard, Patio, or Balcony showcases beautiful flower varieties and offers illustrated design ideas that will have you seeing the potential for colorful flowers, both annual and perennial, in all kinds of outdoor spaces, large or small. Essential advice—such as "Hot Weather Flower Garden Tips," "Tiny Space, Tiny Garden," and "Tips for Layering with Flowers"—is accompanied by lush photos and informative captions. Selected growing tips—such as "Become a Rake Master" and "Should I Cut Back in Winter?"—answer common questions and ensure success for gardeners of all skill levels.
Floratopia both inspires and enlightens; it underscores the role of flowers as pollinator magnets and encourages the appreciation of flowers throughout their entire lifecycle. Choice tips for butterfly gardens, combining grasses and flowers, and deer-resistant combinations also include recommended cultivars and suggested soil conditions. This engaging book is divided into six chapters:
- Flowers in Pots and Planters
- Flower Garden Planting Tips
- Flower Garden Design Tips and Green Thoughts
- Themes for Flower Gardens
- A Few Choice Perennial Flowers to Try
- A Selection of Favorite Annual Flowers.
Floratopia appeals to gardeners and flower lovers alike. Jan’s encouraging voice, experience, and contagious passion for flower garden design will inspire you to plant joyful blossoms wherever you live.