I’ve been flipping through Not So Big House creator Sarah Susanka’s newest book, written with landscape and garden designer Julie Moir Messervy.

Outside the Not So Big House: Creating the Landscape of Home is a lush, coffeetable sized color book, big enough to make you wish you could spend a few hours wandering through the gardens it depicts.

The concept of the book is to help the reader think about landscape as an extension of the house itself, a way to extend the house beyond the four walls that confine it. Twenty homes from across the country illustrate their principals. But the biggest help is that Susanka and Messervy team up to deliver color blueprint-like illustrations that show the footprint of the house along with how the outside relates to it.

I’ve just learned that Meservy is coming to Chicago in March, to give a talk and book signing at the Chicago Botanic Garden. I plan to spend some one-on-one time with her there, talking more about the book — and wishing she would come to my house to give me some landscape design ideas.

For now, though, I’ll have to content myself with flipping through the pages of this book, published by the Taunton Press (www.taunton.com).

January 27, 2006