Right-sizing is a philosophy that I have been advocating for almost 20 years. I was introduced to the idea of not so big by Sarah Susanka‘s Not So Big House. I devoured that book. The concepts Sarah introduced spoke to me on so many levels (you can imagine how happy I was not just for her to continue the Not So Big series over the years, but also to expand upon it with the Not So Big Life). It’s really quite a common-sense idea: build or remodel a home in a way where you are creating beautiful spaces with durable materials and a smart configuration in less square footage, tailored to the way you live. Remove the bigger is better mentality and opt for quality over quantity, creating an efficient home that reflects those living in it. Goodbye McMansions!
A few years after Not So Big House was released, Sarah released Outside the Not So Big House: Creating the Landscape of Home with Julie Moir Messervy, which extended the concepts of the Not So Big house into the garden. As I always found myself teetering between the worlds of architecture and landscape design, this book was right up my alley. Recently, I happened upon a new resource at my local library which expands upon this concept of right-sizing in the landscape and responds to the need for balance between gardening and the time and ability you may have to do so. The Right-Size Flower Garden: Simplify Your Outdoor Space with Smart Design Solutions and Plant Choices is the latest book by Kerry Mendez, of Perenially Yours. As lack of “free” time is the reason I often call myself a lazy gardener, I know this book will become a treasured reference.
If you would like to learn more about Right-Sizing, consider attending a lecture or presentation by one of these authors. Sarah Susanka is scheduled to speak next in Florida at Seminole State College. Julie Moir Messervy’s presentation information can be found on her Design Studio website. Kerry Mendez will be speaking this Saturday and Sunday at the NJ Flower & Garden Show, and future lectures & programs can be found on her Events page.