Books in sync with nature.

A New Garden Design Book Tells the Secrets of the Pros

Pittsburgh, Pa. (April 12, 2013) – Award-winning landscape architect Billy Goodnick’s new book, YARDS: Turn Any Outdoor Space into the Garden of Your Dreams (St. Lynn’s Press, March 1, 2013), shows homeowners how to plan the perfect outdoor environment unique to their family’s lifestyle and budget – and have fun doing it. Goodnick is known for his low-maintenance, year-round garden designs, with an emphasis on sustainability and beauty.

YARDS aims at the practical, achievable side of landscaping that the average homeowner can aspire to – people on a budget, hoping to squeeze the most out of their time, energy and assets to achieve a low-maintenance yard that doesn’t consume their weekends with chores. They want a garden that will allow them to spend time outdoors with friends and family, generate food for the table, enhance the beauty of their home, and give the greatest return on their investment.

Goodnick shows people how they can design like a pro – how to avoid garden chaos and take charge of their outdoor environment. Who hasn’t fallen in love with shiny new plants at the garden center, only to come home and wonder what to do with them – too often with disappointing results? “You gotta have a plan,” he says.

His humorous, down-to-earth approach takes the mystery out of the design process. Starting with a site analysis (What do you have to work with…and what do you want to do when you go outside?), the author guides the homeowner to brainstorm the family’s lifestyle, taste and needs. The goal is to see the yard as an extension of the house…to create spaces with a purpose for various activities.  The plan evolves through considerations of aesthetics and the practicalities of hardscape (infrastructure, paving, walls, etc.) until the final section on choosing the kinds of plants that best complement the new design – emphasizing color, form, plant architecture.

The reader will come away with a carefully-thought-out garden design in hand, and the knowledge about where to go from there – whether it’s to be a DIY project, or will involve various degrees of assistance from professionals. For those who intend to hire a professional designer, YARDS will help them understand the potential of their property in advance so that they will be informed consumers, fully participating in the creative process.

What others are saying about YARDS:

“It’s about time Billy put his considerable expertise and irreverent voice into a book everyone can benefit from.  Funny, blunt and insightful – his is a rare and refreshing voice in the world of garden writing.”

– Steve Aitken, editor of Fine Gardening magazine

“Billy Goodnick delivers the most laid-back, user-friendly and entertaining garden advice you’ll ever read. Invite him into your backyard – now!”

Amy Stewart, New York Times best-selling author of Wicked Plants and The Drunken Botanist

About the Author:

Billy Goodnick is an award-winning landscape architect and design coach based in Santa Barbara. He teaches design at the local college, writes and blogs for Fine Gardening magazine, and is a contributor at A witty, sought-after lecturer, Billy has created some of the most beautiful, environmentally responsible gardens in Southern California – large and small – and has taught his successful techniques to thousands of people. Learn more about his garden universe at

About the Book:

YARDS: Turn Any Outdoor Space into the Garden of Your Dreams. St. Lynn’s Press, March 1, 2013. 160 pages, hardcover. ISBN-13: 978-0-9855622-1-2. $17.95