The days of gardening for a merely visual feast, for wandering through and admiring the planting are nearly all gone. Today we live in smaller houses with smaller gardens or in flats and apartments with only roof terraces or windowsills with which to commune with nature. And because of this lack of space, both indoors and out, the available space outdoors must double as an extra living space and not be just something to be viewed from indoors. It needs to entice, to provide a comfortable seating and dining area and, if needs be, to give privacy and protection from the elements, sun, wind or rain. This wonderful book by Elspeth Thompson, gardening columnist for the Sunday Telegraph Magazine is another joint venture with the exciting horticultural photographer Melanie Eclare. Together they have concocted a book full of inspiring ideas, all lavishly illustrated, with which to transform your outdoor space, no matter what the size. Having viewed the transformation of Elspeth's own miniature town garden at the beginning of the book, you know you are in the hands of someone with flair, style and horticultural know-how. The easy to read text gently teaches the reader how to blend from the inside out, to make a smooth transition from the interior to the exterior, to accentuate the best features and enhance them with subtle lighting and decoration and to hide the worst, to blend furniture, walls and hard landscaping with the plants to create a satisfying, welcoming vista. From modern American, rustic Mediterranean and urban chic, all sorts of different styles are given, offering a wide choice for anyone wanting to start a new garden or merely update and enhance an existing one. The book gives a modern outlook for today's needs and offers an answer to what can be an elusive problem of what to do with today's garden spaces.